Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!! Welcome 2012

Happy New Year everyone! 2011 has been an awesome year for me but I'm looking forward to 2012. I think it's going to be a great year. Thanks to all of you who have supported my blog and my work over the past year. I look forward to interacting with you in the new year, here and at all of my other sites. Please feel free to connect with me at any of my social media or portfolio sites. All of the links are on the right side of my blog. Time to party. Goodnight and see you next year!!

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Catherine Monreal ~ Virtual Assistant

A note to my business connections:
I wanted to bring someone to your attention that could be invaluable for your business. Her name is Catherine Monreal and I have utilized her services for research in the past and will be using her in a virtual assistant capacity in the coming year. While I wish I could keep her all to myself, I know that I do not have enough work to sustain her. So, I thought I would tap into my network and introduce her. 

Catherine has a much more complete profile on Elance, which can be found here: and she is located in California. While this puts her in the Pacific Time Zone she is flexible with her availability to suit your needs. Heck she is always available for me when I need something. 

Catherine can work in a variety of capacities: writing, researching, and virtual assisting. She listens well, is a great communicator and can help you organize and formulate your ideas into an action plan. She can be reached at or 818-252-9099.

Happy New Year to all!

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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Tim Jones ~ A Google+ Portrait Commission

This is a portrait commission for a friend from Google+, Tim Jones of "Tim Jones Marketing". Self proclaimed TV Spokesperson, Actor, Producer, Hangout Addict, and Napper. People's Choice Nominee ~ Morning Drive Disc Jockey for 15 years ~ Appeared in over 40,000 TV Commercials in the Southeast over the past 20 years. In-depth bio here. If you're a Google+ member, make sure you circle +Tim Jones for a very funny and interesting stream... and +Rodney Pike of course. :) Tim can also be found on his facebook page as well as his YouTube Channel. Below is the source image and a little Tim Jones Unplugged. Enjoy!

Tim Jones ~ Behind The Scenes 

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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Stevie Wonder ~ Movie Spoof

This is an old Freaking News Photoshop contest manipulation of Stevie wonder. Somehow it never got into my blog long ago when it was done so I'm just adding it now so it will ne in my blog archive. I have no idea how it did in the contest. That was a long time ago.

A little Superstition 

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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Tommy Lee Jones ~ WIP ... Which Way?

Tonight I'm posting a followup to a post I made a few days ago of Tommy Lee Jones as seen below. The more I looked at this image the more I thought maybe I had taken it the wrong direction, or maybe I should say I realized there may be a better angle. I posted the image above on Google+ and took a poll. Although the answers differed, the majority were for the second attempt at top right. I think I'm going to try several different angles on this one and see what I come up with. The reason I wanted to post this is to illustrate in my own crude and inexperienced way that there are many different ways you can take the exaggeration when doing a caricature. There are no rules chiseled in stone, so just because yours is different doesn't mean it's wrong. This will as all of my work is really, be a learning experience for me. The reason I didn't post the top right image at a larger size is because it's only loosely put together. I will try and deliver in the end 4 different takes on Tommy Lee from my perspective. Which way would you go?

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Sunday, December 11, 2011

California 90420 Project ~ Final Installment

Well, this is the DVD label which is the last installment to the California 90420 Movie Project for Catchphrase Entertainment and New Coast Productions. I think the commission is finally complete. Everything has been delivered. As soon as the DVD is out I will have all of the actual items commissioned and do a photo shoot of the package commission both for a Behance Network project as well as a blog post summing up the entire experience from start to finish. Thanks to Dean Shull of Catchphrase and Steve Roberts of New Coast for this opportunity. Here is an interview of the two on California 90420. It was challenging at times and a bit out of my comfort zone but it all worked out in the end and the main thing is that they are happy with the final outcome. The satisfaction of my clients is far more important to me than any amount of money, although it's a nice little bonus.

I'm about to start a portait commission right now for +Tim Jones of Google+ and I will complete the Robert De Niro series afterwards and make a post with several images showing some of the different ways I approach a caricature and hopefully shedding some light on the many different angles you can look at a person and the differing directions of taking the exaggeration itself. That was a long sentence, please don't correct my grammer. It sucks. Again, these methods that I describe here on my blog are my methods and not necessarily the correct methods. In fact my methods are actually all experimental as I try to figure this stuff out. I have no training in Photoshop or caricatures, or even art for that matter. I just do what I do.  If you want formal caricature training, go to the master, Jason Seiler. He teaches a corse through which is well worth the money and as soon as I have the time, I'm taking the course myself.

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Monday, December 5, 2011

California 90420 DVD Wrap Commission - Final Draft

Tonight I'm finally posting the completed DVD wrap commission for the movie California 90420 by Catchphrase Entertainment and New Coast Productions in L.A. I let myself get talked into doing the type setting on this job. This will be the last one. I offer illustration, not graphic design. I just don't have the software, fonts etc. needed for that king of work and I just don't enjoy it. I'm going to stick with my caricatured manipulations. It's what I do best and it's what I enjoy doing. This was a pretty cool project though. In all, there was the original caricature commission, two posters, a t-shirt and the DVD wrap so it was a good bit of work. Check out the movie trailer below and check out the movie if you get a chance. Well, it's official; just got the final approval so this will be delivered tonight. I'm ready to move on to some fun stuff now.

California 90420

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Sunday, December 4, 2011

Adora-ble ~ A Portrait Commission of a Cutie

Tonight I'm posting a portrait commission which was done for an extremely loving dad who had this beautiful little girl sort of late in life at age 56. He recently started an art project in the form of a blog to document her growing up and build a collection of original art of this precious little girl named Adora. He started commissioning artists from all over the world to create unique works based on photographs of his cute baby daughter. 170 diverse original pieces have been published so far on the blog. The adorable art archive is a scrollable showcase all of the images to date. The Art portion can be viewed here and he adds a new and different entry to it every single day. The main page is at Do you think this is a proud dad? I would say so, and he has every right to be. Little Adora is truly Adorable.

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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Tommy Lee Jones ~ Work In Progress WIP

Tonight I'm posting a work in progress, WIP of actor Tommy Lee Jones. I worked most of the day on the DVD wrap for the movie but I'm running into some difficulties getting everything they want to squeeze into it. I stopped and took a break and decided to start a caricature of The Man in Black, Tommy Lee Jones. I liked this source photo. It's a bit small but has decent detail. This is in a very rough unfinished state. I've only used the warp tool and just a tad in liquify but only for some small tweaks. H'e likely to look totally different than this when it's done. In fact I'm noticing things as I type that need to be changed. I haven't decided yet if I'm going to make a situational manipulation with hom or just do a simple portrait. I'm trying to get to doing a couple of Rock bands in group caricatures with a couple of images a friend helped me find. One of then is going to be super cool, so stay tuned. The original source image is posted below as well as a short video interview of the actor.    
Tommy Lee Jones

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California 90420 DVD Wrap Commission - 2nd Draft

This is the second draft of the DVD wrap design for CatchPhrase Entertainment and New Coast Productions, obviously for the movie California 90420 after a laundry list of changes they wanted. The 2nd draft ended up quite a bit different from the first. As you can see, almost everything was changed in some way and it's not finished. There are more icons and information that they wanted on the bottom of the back cover but there is no room so I sent them this and I'm leaving it up to them to figure it out. Oh well, you have to give the client what they want. I will hopefully be posting the final draft tomorrow or I think I'll ask to visit my PayPal account again. :)

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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

California 90420 DVD Wrap Commission - 1st Draft

Tonight I'm posting the first draft of a DVD wrap design concept for the movie California 90420 by CatchPhrase Entertainment and New Coast Productions out of California. I'm sure most of you are familiar with the poster I was initially commissioned to do. It was simple on a white background because it was so huge and they didn't provide any source images at the size required to create a custom background at that print size. This project is a little more fun because I can create backgrounds from smaller images. I'm not much of a graphic designer so this is a bit out of my element as far as type setting and all but this is my attempt with the limited recourses I have, namely fonts. This is just the first conceptual comp and will change considerably before completion but I just wanted to show what I started with and how it will evolve over time with the clients' input and added source material. Sometimes I have to just put something together to get the client thinking and deciding on what they really want, so this was a very quick mock-up. I'll be working on the final product tomorrow and with any luck, have it posted the next day.

Just for kicks, I'm posting the movie trailer below as well as a little info on the movie premiere dates and locations. Enjoy!

Directed by one of the guys that brought you the comedy hit, "Waiting...", comes the story of 4:20 Somethings; learning, leading, striving and thriving in California's semi-legalized marijuana culture.

California 90420 will be premiering on the east coast November 4th and 5th at the Asheville Cinema Festival in North Carolina.  (

The west coast premiere will be in Los Angeles on November 19th.  If you are interested in attending this private screening, go to

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Monday, November 21, 2011

Alan Greenspan ~ A Rare Revisit

Tonight I'm posting a rare revisit to one of my manipulations of Alan Greenspan or anyone for that matter. I thought this caricature study had potential but the version I did a while back didn't go as I expected. The original source image which is posted below was washed out with little detail and I didn't really know what to do with it or how to deal with those issues at the time so I put him on a gradient background which was a banding nightmare. It made me sick every time I looked at it so I decided to rework it just a bit and put him in a new setting. He makes a great subject and I felt it would be a shamed to toss it out, so here is Alan Greenspan IIIV. 

I just finished a movie DVD jewel case design for New Coast Productions so I will probably post that tomorrow. I also finally finished the collaboration piece I did with Jesse Smith of Loose screw Tattoo and delivered it to him today as a gift. It wasn't enough change to bother posting again. It was mainly fine details getting it print ready. I have another little fun project going on the side that I'll post in a day or two.

I'm working on a deal with an art magazine who wants me to do a webinar on my work. I've turned two of these down already but I think I'm going to accept this one, so all of you who have been hounding me about doing a tutorial and showing my methods, this is for you. There's a lot involved and there's the scheduling issue so it won't be until next year but I'm headed in that direction. It's been a very long but productive day, so I'm calling it a night guys. Until tomorrow!

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Sunday, November 20, 2011

Joseph Phillips ~ A Caricature Study of a Good Sport

Today's post is something I've started on Google+ for fun and practice called #SundayDoodle. I will be posting a caricature study or manipulation of some sort that's just for practice and or fun every Sunday on Google+. This caricature study is of one of my sons from my wife's previous marriage, hence the last name, Joseph Phillips. I never really cared for those terms, "step child" or "half child". Joseph has been a really good sport about this and gave his approval to go international with this image. This was a pic from a vacation trip and one of many that bring back some fun memories. I had a lot of fun with this one. I think I'm going to target one of my daughters next. Joseph is all grown up now and has made a fine young man. I'm betting the ladies will be all over him after this post. :) Thanks for being a sport Joseph, and thanks for the "memories"...  :/ Inside joke!

Joseph Phillips Source Image

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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Agnolo Bronzino Portrait of a Bean

One more to the Bean Series I'm putting together for my Mr. Bean / Rowan Atkinson fans. I know I just used this painting in the Bono post previous to this but I couldn't resist. This series will be an attempt to bring a little life back into the now retired Mr. Bean character and contribute a little to the memory of this great character as well as paying tribute to an iconic comedian.

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Monday, November 14, 2011

Ode to Bono ~ a long forgotten Image

Tonight's post is kind of random. This is a long forgotten image of Bono that never made it into my blog. It was an old freaking News Photoshop contest entry, so for any Bono fans out there, this one's for you! I'll be getting back on some caricature work as soon as I finish a commission I'm working on. Goodnight folks!

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Sunday, November 13, 2011

Russian Super Model Natalia Beanovich

A quick Sunday Doodle for your viewing pleasure. I was really bored. :)

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Thursday, November 10, 2011

Bean The Gladiator

Tonight I'm posting a regular photo manipulation of Rowan Atkinson as "Been The Gladiator". It seems that no matter what I do, Mr. Bean is still the most popular character I have. Now with the official retirement of Mr. Bean, I'm going to make it my mission to bring him back to life with a small series of manipulations. Standard photo manipulations without caricatures are really fun and relaxing and great for practicing blending, textures etc. I've posted the source image below as well as a video of the Bean in action. I have another Rock Band group caricature planned so I'll hopefully have that up in a few days.

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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

My Official Google+ Business Page Launched

Tonight my post is about my business and one of the things I'm doing to promote it. "Rodney Pike Humorous Illustrator", my Official Google+ Business Page is up and running. I have had a G+ account for several weeks and it's doing well with over 15,000 followers. Last night I launched my business page which is partially shown above. This is the "Photos" page. Clicking the image above will lead you to this page. Simply click the "posts" link to see my lates updates. I think this is going to be a good thing once the kinks are worked out. There's a lot of development ongoing. In fact this business page option was just made available last night. Businesses are being added at an amazing rate. If you're a Gpluser, be sure and add my page to your business circle. You can also add my personal profile @ +Rodney Pike. I've spent some time today connecting some dots and spreading this link around to some of my sites, and I have added two widgets to my blog on the right so you can add either me or my business to your circle without even going to the site, or you can add both. I have had tremendous support with my work everywhere I have created an account and I appreciate all of you who follow my work and support my blog. I'm sure the support will carry over to this site as well. The page already has several hundred followers. 

15,000+ Google+ Followers
Click here to visit site

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Monday, November 7, 2011

Thom Yorke ~ A Study in Grayscale

Tonight I'm posting the finished Thom Yorke I've been working on in grayscale, well not actually grayscale. It's RGB desaturated. I'm not sure about it. This one was tough. There a lot of extreme exaggerations in the body and that's hard to do and maintain / create detail. I don't know, it just looks stiff to me. I always had that problem when I painted. The sketch always captured the feeling I wanted and the final painting ended up stiff. I think when I start incorporating digital painting into my work it will get better. I really think I like the sketch better. Oh well, it is what it is and I'm done. On to the next project. I did learn a few things. That's the important part. I've posted the rest of the project below. I'm going back to concentrating on the face. Faces are what I do best and if I get that right the rest follows.

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