University of Lincoln graduate’s ‘Breaking Bad’ painting goes viral

An acrylic painting by a University of Lincoln graduate has gone viral.

Former illustration student Scott Mitchell was commissioned to do a painting from American television drama “Breaking Bad”, which he posted on social news website Reddit.

Speaking about the painting, Mitchell said: “I decided to accentuate Walter’s (Bryan Cranston) features to make him look more angry/evil, and did the same with Jesse (Aaron Paul) to make him appear more innocent.

“I can’t really say why without giving away anything about the show, which, if you’ve not seen, is an error I’d rectify as soon as possible.”

Whereas Mitchell expected the painting to receive a positive reaction, he could not have predicted how widespread it would become: “I didn’t expect it to be the highest-rated link on the site within an hour and, from there, I was swarmed with comments, private messages and emails, which pretty much took an entire day to read through and respond to.

“It was pretty cool to be featured on so many blogs and stuff. People kept sending me links to them throughout the day. People on Twitter seemed to like it too, but I’m still not entirely sure what Twitter is, so I didn’t follow that bit so much.”

This isn’t the first time Mitchell has submitted his finished paintings to Reddit. He explained: “I pretty much submit everything to Reddit. They are nice to me. But really it’s been a great place to get people to see my paintings.”

He continued: “This is the second time one has reached 1.5m views which, to me, is an insane amount. It’s also easy for people to contact me through there if they want to commission me for something. I’ve found it a good way to sustain work if each new piece I put on gets me at least one new commission.”

But what does the future hold for Mitchell? He said: “I still have a few commissions to be working through, along with the new ones I’ve received through the Breaking Bad painting.

“I had a phone call from some guy who works selling phone cases through the Reddit gift store, who wants me to design a couple of phone cases for him, which will be a nice change from the portraits.

“There was also someone who emailed me about doing a painting based on a Coen Brother’s film, for an exhibition in a gallery in Seattle which sounded interesting.”

He concluded: “I intend to move back to Lincoln after the summer and am looking to rent a studio somewhere. But that, and continuing to convince people that it’s a good idea to give me money, is as far as my plans stretch so far.”

More of Scott Mitchell’s work can be viewed on his website.