Digital Painting

I'm working on several digital caricatures for comedian Frank Caliendo. Frank does amazing and hilarious impressions of celebrities and political figures, based on his own comedy and writing. You've seen him on Comedy Central, Letterman and MADtv, but sure enough Frank has gone further! He's got his own TV show "the FRANK show" on TBS this fall, as well as several other projects and tours along the way. Be sure to catch his act- it's great.

In doing caricatures for his website, I've learned a lot about digital painting and how simple or complex it can be. There's a lot to decide when you're painting. Either way, I've found that my favorite part of doing these ones, in particular, is the roughing stage. I do a pencil sketch first. Once that is approved, I throw some color underneath the pencil (in Photoshop) then rough lots of colors on top of it, painting in an impressionistic way. I look for light splashing across the face, and consider only hue and contrast at this point, with heavy use of the reference. Smoothing and sharpening edges comes later, as well as fixing up details and other 'finishing' work. Here are a couple details of the two I'm currently working on:


Piotr said...

very nice, great to partner up with frank...nice work as always!

Aaronphilby said...

Love George. Not sure about Kramer's likeness.

Anonymous said...

That Jason Alexander is so far beyond genius.

Anonymous said...

I know it's more efficient to work with digital painting programs, but I tend to think few computer paint programs get close to the feel of actual non-machinized work. Do you think the expediation of the process sacrifices the overall feel or quality or does it matter?

Great work, but I'm curious if you prefer the computer to the brush? I find your non-cyber pieces (even/especially your theme park marker and color stick work) to be far more vivid and successful.

I'm sure it's relative...I do have a bit of a bias against graphic design.

Nelson Santos said...

Cant wait to see the final products! How about your legal problem?

Joe Bluhm said...

Thanks everyone.

Aaron- You are right, the "Kramer" is a bit weak. I'm reworking him, because I never felt it was nearly as successful as the "George." I'll show it here as it progresses.

Michael- I feel that traditional art has a value that can't be matched by digital. Graphic design is a whole other topic, but as for digital artwork and painting, I've found that I can create and modify work much faster and easier, making it very useful for illustration and freelance work. When something is to be used on a website or printed, why go through the hassle of scanning and preparing materials when it will end up in the computer, anyway? When I want something to hold, I paint traditionally.

All in all, I agree- there's much more value and satisfaction - even LIFE - in traditional artwork. I'm hoping I can bring that to my digital work, as I do NOTHING entirely digital (there's always at least a pencil sketch to begin).

Good thoughts.

Caricaturas- As for the plagiarism issue (see February blog), I'm awaiting a call back from the paper's editor. I will be persistent, I can assure you, as there is no question as to what happened.

Anonymous said...

i admire your approach....computers, tools and software are just a helpfull assistants...but brain and skills are the master for art which is about to appear.