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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Sunday, November 6, 2011

Andy Rooney Remembered

Tonight I'm posting a manipulated caricature of Andy Rooney as a tribute to a true writer. He wrote until the very end. He will be remembered.

Andy Rooney - JANUARY 14, 1919 - NOVEMBER 4, 2011

Andrew Aitken "Andy" Rooney (January 14, 1919 – November 4, 2011) was an American radio and television writer. He was most notable for his weekly broadcast "A Few Minutes with Andy Rooney", a part of the CBS News program 60 Minutes from 1978 to 2011. His final regular appearance on 60 Minutesaired October 2, 2011. He died one month later, on November 4, 2011, at age 92.

Television network CBS announced this morning that 60 Minutes news commentator Andy Rooney died yesterday evening in a New York City hospital, after complications from a minor surgery. He was 92. 

Rooney became famous for his final commentary at the end of each 60 Minutes news program. A beloved curmudgeon, he often served as the voice of the contrarian in popular culture. After more than 30 years on the show, Rooney announced his departure as a regular contributor in October of this year. He insisted, however, that he would still be creating occasional pieces for the network as long as he was able. "Andy always said he wanted to work until the day he died, and he managed to do it, save the last few weeks in the hospital," his 60 Minutes colleague, correspondent Steve Kroft, told the AP. 

Here's a look at Rooney's final segment on 60 Minutes. Only Andy could find a way to say thanks, while still coming off just a little grumpy about it. You will be sorely missed, Mr. Rooney.

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Thursday, November 3, 2011

Over 200,000 Blog Views Year One

Tonight I want to thank all of my followers and visitors as I hit yet another milestone in an extremely short period of time. I launched this blog in October of 2010. In June of this year I reached a milestone and announced reaching 100,000 blog pageviews since it was launched. It seems like that was just a couple of months ago and in fact it has been only a few months. In barely over a year and with the support of a thousands awesome people like yourselves, my blog rolled over 200,000 pageviews this morning. Thanks to all of you who follow my blog as a public follower, a NetworkedBlogs follower, as well as RSS subscribers, and thanks to those of you who may bookmark or simply drop by from time to time. It is much appreciated. At this rate, I look forward to the day when it hits seven digits, and it will. I didn't do a fancy graphic for this post because I'm busy working to get some great stuff posted. Thanks so much for your support once again. The future looks bright from here!

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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Thom Yorke ~ A Grayscale Caricature Study (WIP)

Tonight I'm posting a work in progress of Thom Yorke. This is a very small, rough, quick study done mostly in liquify except for the head. It's what I call a "liquify sketch". I had this image of Thom Yorke which is very small, poor detail, grayscale and just not a good image... except for the pose, or at least it has potential. I love that pose and decided to do a little experimenting and see if I can bring this thing to life. When I saw this pose, I thought of Norman Rockwell and those awkward spindly bodies he painted, so that's kind of the feel I'm going for here. I'm starting with an all grayscale study to get the values right. I've caricatured the body to close to what I'm after and the face was an unfinished one I had laying around. Again, this is a very quick conceptual sketch that I will use for reference on the final image. I'm not positively sure I will use this head. It was just convenient at this stage to get an idea if this will even be worth my time. I will ultimately use some techniques I've been working on to increase the size of the body considerably while enhancing and adding detail, texture and in the end full color. This is going to be a real test of all the hard work I've put in this past year. It will definitely be my biggest challenge. The two source images are below as well as the head which is in a very unfinished state and only sort of blocked in as far as the shape of the head. Much will change before the final product. Well, there you go. That's what I'll be doing for the next two or three days around a commission I'm working on. Hopefully my next Thom Yorke post will be a cool one. Goodnight folks!
Thom Yorke posing for a magazine shoot:

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