Soviet Propaganda(?)

Soviet Propaganda(?) - student project

Here's the ad I'm trying to copy: 

Soviet Propaganda(?) - image 1 - student project

First stab:

Soviet Propaganda(?) - image 2 - student project

Come on, baby, don't fear the reaper

We can be like they are

Don't fear the reaper

-------------------------------------------------May 16th, 2013-------------------------------------------------

Soviet Propaganda(?) - image 3 - student project

State of affairs so far.  Getting to fooling around with the brush/blob brush tools.  Soooo many questions:

1. The black rectangle is intentionally outside my artboard a little bit.  How do I save a jpeg of only what's on my artboard?

2. Bracket hot keys aren't working for me.  (I'm on a Windows machine, if that's at all relevant.)

3.  I asked this in the comments, but sometimes my brush has a little x by it and switches back to an old brush.  Can't figure out why AI won't let me use some brushes.

I have like a million other questions, can't keep them all straight.

-------------------------------------------------May 20th, 2013-------------------------------------------

Finally "finished" with inking.  It's rough and I need to smooth a lot of edges, but I may just move on to textures anyway since the class ends soon.

Soviet Propaganda(?) - image 4 - student project


-------------------------------------------------May 22nd, 2013-------------------------------------------

I <3 Clipping Masks.

Saving for web was the only way I could get AI to clip off what wasn't on the artboard.

I'll try some masks on the skin and book later, no energy now.  It would also be good if someone could recommend a stroke to make my black lines appear inkier.

Soviet Propaganda(?) - image 5 - student project

-----May 24th, 2013------

Soviet Propaganda(?) - image 6 - student project

Just continuing the job of throwing a million effects, textures, and gradients on.  Definitely, need to learn my shortcuts and hotkeys.

----May 25th, 2013----

Soviet Propaganda(?) - image 7 - student project