Being honest with myself, I need more practice making realistic faces in Illustrator. As I’ve done before, I cut corners by throwing a bunch of facial hair on “me.” Furthermore, Laura’s portrait from last year is markedly more accurate than the one here—but she does have fabulous hair.
This year’s big hero: Illustrator’s Appearance Panel for wrangling multiple fills in a single object.
Before I knew better I would copy an object several times, apply a single fill to each, and layer effects that way. Thanks to the Krewe du Brew posters, I learned a lot about managing several fills on a single object. This made changes and management so much easier.