illustration

Paolo Conte Sketch

Paolo Conte Sketch

Reggie Watts Sketch

Reggie Watts Sketch

Eraserhead

Eraserhead
Jack Nance as Henry Spencer in Eraserhead (1977), David Lynch’s first feature film.

Bashar al-Assad Sketch

Bashar al-Assad Sketch

Joan Holloway Sketch

Joan Holloway Sketch

Dictator

Alexander Lukashenko
Alexander Lukashenko, “President” of Belarus since 1994.

Ben Wyatt

Ben Wyatt
Adam Scott as Ben Wyatt from Parks and Recreation.

April Ludgate

April Ludgate
Aubrey Plaza as April Ludgate from Parks and Recreation.

April Ludgate Studies

April Ludgate Studies

Boss Hogg

Boss Hogg
Sorrell Booke as J.D. “Boss” Hogg from The Dukes of Hazzard.
I used to watch this show with my grandfather Vittorio so this painting is dedicated to him.

Boss Hogg Sketch

Boss Hogg sketch

Charles Bronson Sketch

Charles Bronson Sketch

The Walking Dead

The Walking Dead

Steven Yeun as Glenn from The Walking Dead.

The sketch:

Glenn The Walking Dead sketch

I made a video of the painting process. It’s extremely sped up (the painting took well over 6 hours to complete) but aside from that there’s no editing so bad decisions, mistakes and moments of doubt are all included.

As usual you can see more images in my Portfolio Gallery.

More Cowbell

Guess what?! I got a fever and the only prescription is more cowbell!
Christopher Walken as fictional producer Bruce Dickinson in the famous Saturday Night Live sketch “More Cowbell”.

Here’s a short animation of the painting process:

More Cowbell animation

More shots in my Portfolio Gallery.

Howard “Bunny” Colvin

Howard "Bunny" Colvin
Robert Wisdom as Howard “Bunny” Colvin from The Wire.
More details in my Portfolio Gallery.

2012

2011 has been lean and mean so here’s hoping 2012 will bring growth, both personal and professional, to all of us (click to enlarge):
2012

Guido

Here’s my new painting, a peaceful wintry scene of Arctic life featuring a big green bird named Guido. Click for the big one:
Guido

My Portfolio has a couple of close ups if you want to take a peek at the brushwork. And now a little info on the process behind the painting.
I was inspired by this snowy forest from episode 1 of Frozen Planet, an impressive documentary series narrated by David Attenborough.

Frozen Planet

I liked the lighting and the weird tree shapes. I wasn’t sure about what I’d come up with, I just explored ideas until I was reasonably satisfied. I ended up exaggerating the shape of the trees (until they were no longer trees) and introducing a character to create a complete scene.

sketch 1

I liked everything about this sketch except the way the shot was framed: Guido was at the center of the image (too static) and the big shape on the lefthand side needed some breathing room. So I expanded the environment above and to the left and finally I was happy with the composition.

sketch 2

The above sketch is the result of several hours of endless tweaking: getting the shapes to look just right, keeping elements diversified and unaligned to preserve the irregularity of a natural environment, creating the illusion of an endless forest of bulbous ice pillars extending towards the horizon.
The more time you spend on the sketch the less you have to tweak the picture later on while painting.

I still hadn’t figured out the lighting at this stage so I just started replicating the color palette of the reference images.
While the eerie Polar lighting was fascinating, I was after a happier, less disturbing atmosphere—it’s a holiday card after all. To that end I introduced some light blue into the snow. Note that at this point I was still completely unsure of what the image would look like.
You make it up as you go along.

paint 1

Several hours of failed attempts, hair pulling and diligent blocking resulted in this:

paint 2

The atmosphere, the background, the color palette and the lighting have all been established at this point. All that’s left to do is the detailing.

paint 3

Note what a big difference the introduction of the yellow rim lights makes. The whole scene lights up and sits so much better underneath the Arctic sunrise.
After detailing Guido and adding more fish the painting is finished.

paint final

With this painting I tried to take a very specific reference and turn it into my own picture, creating a character imbued with my sense of humor. Most importantly I had fun and I learned a lot.
No time to rest on the afterglow of a finished picture, though, so on to the next one.

Recipe For Every Illustration Ever

  1. Make it honest and fun.
  2. Sketch, draw and paint the hell out of it.
  3. No Star Wars references.

Frank Costanza

Frank Costanza

Digital painting of Jerry Stiller as Frank Costanza from Seinfeld.
The first in a series of portraits of TV show characters.

Playing, Painting, Fishing with John

John Lurie

My tribute to legendary composer, actor, painter and fisherman John Lurie.
More images and info in my Portfolio Gallery.

Le Rubirosa

Porfirio Rubirosa was the last of the great playboys. According to the legend he was extremely endowed, his appendage having been famously described by Truman Capote as “an 11-inch cafe au lait sinker as thick as a man’s wrist.”
Allegedly Parisian bistros to this day call the biggest pepper mill “le Rubirosa” so here’s my tribute to the great lothario, in the form of a magazine ad from the late Fifties/early Sixties.

Le Rubirosa
More images in my Portfolio Gallery.

Hug Me!

Hug Me!

Couple more pictures in my portfolio.

Caffè Paulista

Paulista
My favorite Italian coffee label. A long time ago it was still possible to find tins of this coffee, now only available in regular packages. Also they redid the identity with Helvetica, bleh.

Play Everyday

Play Everyday

Personal illustration inspired by inline typefaces. Also a bit nostalgic since I grew up close to Italy’s slot car manufacturer Polistil’s main factory.
High quality art print available in the store.

Dr. Bishop’s Cortexi-Treats

Another personal poster inspired by the TV show Fringe.

Dr.-Bishop's

What if Massive Dynamic, back in 1983, sold chocolate treats enriched with Cortexiphan to give every kid abilities? This is the ad they would have used.
See a bigger image on my Flickr.

Someone Is Printing Up Souls

Someone Is Printing Up Souls

Inspired by a George Carlin joke and in the store now!

Fringe: Walter

Walter Bishop
Portrait of Walter and Walternate Bishop from the TV show Fringe.
Buy this poster from my store!

Fringe: Peter

Peter Bishop
Portrait of Peter Bishop from the TV show Fringe.
Buy this poster from my store!

Fringe: Olivia

Olivia & Fauxlivia Dunham
Portrait of Olivia and Fauxlivia Dunham from the TV show Fringe.
Buy this poster from my store!

Combover

Personal illustration to celebrate the combover, one of the most baffling hairdos of all time:

combover
And here’s a close up of the character:

combover detail