Monday, January 27, 2014

Billy Joel Caricature Study

I had a little fun today with this caricature study of Billy Joel. My work has taken on a totally different look since I started drawing again. It really helps to get a good sketch developed and work on top of that. Why not just paint it you may ask? I am getting back to the basics by sketching and I am teaching myself digital painting so you will see some of that in the near future. Meanwhile there are a lot of people who still like the photo-manipulated caricatures so we'll see. I never plan these things. I just go with my instincts and most importantly, I do what I enjoy. 

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

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Barack Obama Caricature Study

Barack Obama Caricature Study
This is a quick caricature study I did today of Barack Obama. I didn't quite get the look I was aiming for so I'm calling this finished and moving on to a new project. Obama is always fun though and they're all good practice. 

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

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Google+ Portrait Commission

Google+ Portrait
This is my latest Google+ portrait commission. This is a low resolution profile pic which was commissioned as a gift. Get yours for a limited time for only 50 bucks. Email me at

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

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Rodney Pike Project 2014

Jack Black
On a whim two years ago, Gigi Fotieo, the founder of the Digital Media Academy at Lake Nona High in Orlando, Florida decided to email me and tell me how she is inspired by my work and my story. She told me about the “Rodney Pike Project” she does with her Digital Media Academy students. The first part of the project involves the students studying my work in order to grasp an understanding of what makes my caricatures interesting. The second part involves researching different techniques and tools within Photoshop that can be used to do these manipulations. The final part of the project is to put that research to the test and use Photoshop to manipulate a celebrity portrait in the “Rodney Pike” style. I showcased her students’ work on my websites last year so that my 2.4 million plus followers on Google+ could see Lake Nona High School Digital Media Academy students’ work. For the second straight year, Gigi, her students and I are excited to Showcase the winner of the “Rodney Pike Project2014, judged by me. I’m a huge supporter of the arts for our youth and am privileged to share this among my social network.
Gigi Fotieo has been teaching for 19 years with Orange County Public Schools in Orlando, Florida and is the program coordinator and instructor for Lake Nona High School’s Digital Media Academy. She founded the Digital Media Academy at Lake Nona High in 2011. Students in the academy can earn Adobe Industry Certification in Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Flash, InDesign, Illustrator and Premiere Pro. Not fulfilled by a career as an accountant right out of college, she decided to pursue a much more fulfilling career as a high school Career and Tech Ed teacher. She earned her National Board Certification in Early Adolescence through Young Adulthood/Career and Technical Education and is a Certified Adobe Education Trainer. You can learn more about the academy at

Congratulations Jasmin Quinones! 
Below are a few words from Jasmin and more samples of her awesome Photoshop work.

My name is Jasmin Quinones and I am a 16 year old junior at Lake Nona High School in Orlando, Florida. My interest in Photoshop began in my sophomore year when I took Digital Media 1. I haven't worked with Photoshop long, but it has definitely become something I love. I think it is awesome to be able to take a photo and change it or to create something from scratch on the computer. There is so much to do with Photoshop and I'm excited to learn more.

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

Friday, January 17, 2014

"Freedom For Donna" Finds a New Home!

Many of you know the story of my friend Donna Bell, a quadriplegic artist with the simple dream of being able to visit New Orleans in her lifetime.  This trip and the even more humble goal of being able to do anything outside of her home depends upon Donna getting a good handicapped-accessible van. We are proud to announce that, as of January 2014, the good people at the HelpHOPELive Foundation have agreed to help Donna organize this fundraising effort, including the actual purchase and delivery of the van. Please make note of our new web site at Come visit today, learn more about Donna’s dream and help us get the numbers needed to make that dream a reality.

Donna was in a tragic car accident on June 28th 1979 leaving her a C-3 C-4 quadriplegic. She was only 15 at the time of the wreck which broke her neck leaving her unable to move from the shoulders down for the past 34 years. Doctors told her she would never walk again. 

It wasn't until age 21, six years after the accident that a talent emerged where there was once none. "Before the accident, I always wanted to draw but I couldn't even trace well with my hands. This is a true gift.”, said Donna. She has had no formal art training yet now draws and crochets using only her mouth. Donna has a collection of her artwork on her Facebook fan page if you would like to see it. 

Donna has never had a power wheelchair, nor a Custom Handicapped Van with a lift, required to transport a heavy chair like that in the 34 years since her accident. For 34 years, her family has had to lift her in and out of standard vehicles. 

What now for Donna? In time with the spreading of her story and helping to raise awareness of not only her disability but many others, she will be in a new custom van and power wheelchair which will help her and her family tremendously. 

To help with the cost of these and other uninsured medical expenses, a fundraising campaign in Donna’s honor has been established with HelpHOPELive, a nonprofit organization that has been assisting the transplant community for 30 years. In 2000, they expanded their mission to include those who have sustained a catastrophic injury. All contributions are tax-deductible, are held by HelpHOPELive in the [Fund Region] Spinal Cord Injury Fund, and are administered by HelpHOPELive for injury-related expenses only. 

Please consider helping Donna realize this dream and improving her quality of life by joining our “Freedom For Donna” cause and contributing to her HelpHOPELive fundraising campaign? Your donation is greatly appreciated.

Make checks payable to HelpHOPELive and please note in the memo section: In honor of Donna Bell.

Please send mail to: 
2 Radnor Corporate Center
100 Matsonford Road, Suite 100
Radnor, PA 19087

For credit card contributions, please call 1.800.642.8399 or visit
Thank you for helping!

Contributions are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. This campaign is administered by HelpHOPELive, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit providing fundraising assistance to transplant and catastrophic injury patients. Information: 1.800.642.8399.

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

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Marty D'Arcy - A Google+ Portrait Commission

This is my latest portrait commission from fellow Google+ member Marty D'Arcy who is a retired airline stewardess from National Airlines. Images with a hand on the face like this are always challenging because the exaggeration and distortion in the face transfers to the hand as well. This one required quite a bit of digital painting to achieve this. Below are two images. One is the source image provided at a reduced size as well as a one to one crop of that original source image provided for the caricature. I'm posting this to illustrate the lack of detail and poor quality of the source image and the amount of repair / touch-up work needed as well as the amount of painting I had to do. 
Close-up of Source Image

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

Thursday, January 2, 2014

James Earl Jones Caricature Study

Tonight I have a quick caricature study of James Earl Jones. I've been trying to get back to the basics recently as my work was really feeling stale so I'm back behind the sketch pad and doing some digital painting. This is sort of a combination of the two. I first sketched the subject here, then overlaid the skin and went back and painted on top of the combination. I'm practicing a lot with digital drawing and painting now, so you'll see lots more traditional work in 2014. 

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