August 2011

>Barack Obama Profile Study

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Tonight I’m posting the finished study of Obama’s profile. The source image was very fuzzy and extremely noisy at 1:1 so I did a lot of experimenting with texture and detail. People have been asking me why I haven’t posted much lately. Well, there are a couple of reasons. One, I’ve been busy with some small commissions… which is good, and I have been studying Photoshop every day. I’m spending a lot of time on tutorials and experiments but that’s what it’s going to take for me to get to the top of my game. I’m amazed at all of the things I didn’t bother to learn in the past year. A lot of them are very basic to Photoshop as the video demonstrates below. I have been learning Channels, Masking, Refine Edge, Camera Raw, Bridge and really interesting stuff with actions. I’m starting to record a few actions of things I have learned. Now that I know how to use and make them, I plan on building a library of actions which ultimately will save me an enormous amount of time. The video below is just an example of how basic some of these things are that we overlook or don’t think we have time for. Check out the related videos on this guys channel. He has some great stuff, he explains it well and allows you to actually keep up. I want to become proficient at Photoshop so I will be studying for a while, but I am going to get back into posting more in the coming days. I’m going to find a good subject to work on tomorrow before turning in tonight.

Lets take some time and see just what Photoshop can do.


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>Barack Obama ~ Profile WIP

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Just a quick experimental manipulation of Obama’s profile. It’s a very bad source image so I don’t know that I’ll do anything with this. It was just for practice. I may play with painting it. Source image is below. I have some good stuff on the way. Busy busy busy!! Goodnight folks!

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>Admiral Mike Mullen, CJCS ~ BIG Brass

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Tonight I’m posting the finished manipulated caricature of  Admiral Mike Mullen, 17th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Most people probably don’t know who this guy is and this is the only caricature of him that I know of. I didn’t choose him because he was recognizable, I chose him because he was a challenge and he just has great features for a caricature. I did two versions of this. The first is a very large high resolution image, almost 13 inches @ 300DPI. I did this just as if it were a print commission creating a large print ready TIFF of it. I also have a smaller PSD file at 1280 pixels wide which is the standard size for my portfolio. I did both so I could see how close I could get the two, because when you reduce an image of that size by that much, all of the detail and textures are greatly diminished. As a result I had to go through my small PSD file and rework the details and textures as well as small touch ups like hair. Nothing special here but I think I achieved what I was shooting for. The source image is posted below.

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>Admiral Mike Mullen ~ WIP ~ One Step Closer

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Another step closer tonight. I spent quite a bit of time on this stage because of the intersecting shadows, wrinkles and glasses. I haven’t done a thing with color, levels, lighting, or saturation at this point. I’ve got the basic shapes I want and I did some of the preliminary detail work, changing small shapes slightly all over the face. I will hopefully finish him up tomorrow. In the morning I will start to add those elements that make the image pop, the fun part…actually it’s all fun. Goodnight all!

Thanks for stopping by. Have a great day and be inspired!

>Admiral Mike Mullen ~ WIP ~ "an inside look"

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Tonight I’m posting a work in progress of Admiral Mike Mullen and letting you in on a few of my methods. I chose this image by accident really. I was searching for a Brazilian artist for an interview I was working on and I stumbled across this image. It caught my attention because his face kind of reminded me of a dogs snout. Anyhow, he seemed like a good subject. 
I wanted to show here how I go about the initial stages of my work. I always do a super quick “liquify sketch” of the subject in 2 or 3 minutes to get an idea of the direction I want to go with the exaggeration. I put this sketch along with a thumbnail of the source image on my top layer off to the side for reference. This allows me to see both the direction I’m going in and what not to lose track of while I’m working. At this stage, all I have done is worked from the bottom up with the source image and simply used the warp tool. Nothing else, just the traditional warp tool. I’m not concerned with detail or anything else at this point, I’m just trying to get close to the shapes I’m looking for. Sometimes at this stage I get lucky and it looks nearly finished as far as the exaggeration of the face goes. This one has a ways to go yet. I will take this, (a merged copy of exactly what you see here) into liquify next to refine the shapes and get closer to my sketch and the basic morph I’m shooting for as Russ Cook puts it. After the liquify stage, I’ll still keep the two images on my top layer for reference as I work the details, body, textures, background or situation, color, sats, etc, etc, etc. I’ve posted the original source image below. I hope this gives you an idea of how I go about my manipulations. 
NOTE: As I have said many times, this is my method, not necessarily the right or the best method to use. I have no formal training…yet, so I’m not qualified to teach you. This is the way I do things. If you want to learn caricatures, I suggest you take lessons from a professional caricaturist who is qualified to teach like Jason Seiler. I’m going to try and get in on his next session if possible myself. I want to learn the art caricatures from a pro and Jason Seiler is the best.
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>Artist Feature at TalentHouse.com

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Click here to view the feature
Todays post is to announce an interviewed feature of me and some of my work by a great site to host your portfolios and connect with other artists, TalentHouse.com. I have portfolios there myself and I love this site because of the layout. It’s great for getting an overview of a body of work that may be time consuming to look through. Check it out. I think you’ll like it and take a look at my feature which includes an interview so you can maybe learn something new about me and hear me ramble on about art and my thoughts. be sure and leave comments. A big thanks to Laura from TalentHouse for arranging, scheduling and putting together this feature. I am truly honored and I hope you enjoy it. Thanks all!

Thanks for stopping by. Have a great day and be inspired!