1) Can you tell us about yourself?
I’m a 36 year old User Interface designer. I grew up in Bermuda, but i live in Oxford in the UK now. I did a degree in Design & Art Direction because it seemed a sensible way to get a job afterwards but fine art and music have always been my real interests.
2) How did you find out about Psykopaint?
I really can’t remember. I think I came across it in someone’s social media when trawling through the internet. It caught my eye because I had been learning Corel Painter (and was finding it pretty tricky), and I was up for trying other things in the same vein.
3) Tell us more about your work. What’s your process.
A few years ago a friend of mine who is a professional painter showed me how easy it was to paint from photos using the computer, specifically that the photo actually sits on a layer directly below the painted surface. This takes most of the draughtsmanship skill out of the equation (assuming you’re aiming for realism in that respect). I was impressed, but my immediate thought was that to get more creativity into it one should really mess around with the photos before applying the digital paint. As such, my work is part Psykopaint and part Photoshop. The process is:
- get a photo, either from my own camera of from the internet
- manipulate it in Photoshop. This is everything from removing backgrounds to distorting shapes to complicated photo-collaging. Obviously if it’s other people’s photos from the internet you have to change them as much as you can.
- into Psykopaint! I go back to Photoshop after so for me Psykopaint is all about brushstrokes. I usually cover the entire surface with one brush, then change to another brush and rework the entire surface (leaving some parts of the original brushwork showing), then finish off with a 3rd pass. I frequently change the settings of the brushes (every 4 or 5 strokes).
- Save as a big jpeg then back into Photoshop. I then do a lot of colour adjustments and adding multiple layers of semi-transparent textures. I often use the Liquify tool to distort the shapes one last time.
Pictures I have printed so far I got done as Giclée prints on cotton rag paper. I’m very pleased with the result. It’s a bit odd to see simulated impasto on a very flat piece of paper, but it’s still nice.
4) What are your artistic inspirations?
My Pinterest page for Art is a pretty good summary of what I like.
If someone asked me to say who my single biggest influence was, I’d have to say Goya (after he went deaf/mad). Of course part of what is so impressive about Goya’s personal late work is the date that he painted it; most other western paintings of that time are in many ways very controlled or repressed, either by the person paying the commission or by the system (f.e. the Royal Academy, or the French Salon system), but Goya’s Black Paintings are pure emotion. Stylistically where I’d like to be is somewhere between Goya, Rembrandt and John Singer Sargent.
Aside from pictures of people, I love the work of Turner and Casper David Friedrich. I haven’t tried any landscapes myself yet as I feel like it’s much more difficult to say something meaningful with them. When you paint a person’s face, the picture almost automatically becomes about the human condition. You don’t need to think up a theme if you don’t want to.
The weirder side of my work (the Chimeras on kaitain.info) stems from a love of collage and mythology.
5) Something you’d like to share with the world?
If you peak too early in life, everything else will be downhill. I want to be doing amazing work when I’m 80.