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Renowned artist Bert Monroy is known for his hyperrealistic style of extremely large format Photoshop illustrations. As an early adopter of digital imaging tools, he has been working with Photoshop since before it was released as a product by Adobe. He is the author of several books that showcase his illustrations and digital paintings, co-authored the very first book about Photoshop, and has authored numerous courses on photorealism for lynda.com. He is the former host of the long-running podcast Pixel Perfect with Bert Monroy, and an inductee of the Photoshop Hall of Fame. This installment of Creative Inspirations takes viewers inside the home studio and the personal world of this modern-day master. Watch as Bert adds the finishing touches to his largest digital image yet, a 25-foot wide digital illustration of New York's Times Square.
In Bonus Features, Bert talks about the differences between digital and traditional art and how he chooses reference material for his paintings.
(Music playing.) So now, this is a project that's taken quite some time. In fact, when it's done, it will be a little over three years in creating this. Now, I'm at the stage now where I am completing the people down at the bottom and the street. That's what's left at this point, and there are three buildings that have to go back here. I've created the basic buildings up Seventh Avenue there. I just don't have any details on them yet.
I didn't complete one whole part I would do. I did this Cindy poster. Then I went over and did Novotel hotel. Then I came over and did that Cindy poster, and then I did this little storefront over here. I did different sections. If it was taking too long, I would stop, leave it, go to something else. If I leave it and then come back to it, I'll say, "Wow! "Why did I do it like that? I could have done this." So I look at it with a fresh eye. So I start to fix it. I fix things that I did before, and then you start to become to better.
There is no time, ever, where this was exactly what Times Square look like, because this is a compilation of many different photo studies and things that I have added myself. There is billboards here that don't exist and never existed, like this Wacom billboard doesn't exist. I just decided to put one there. These guys playing Three Card Monte, that's gone. You can't play Three Card Monte in Times Square anymore. There was a time when you would find one on every other corner. Here is some of the people over here. Here is Thomas. There he is in the actual size.
Here is my nephew Mark and his girlfriend Soo Jin. There is that little bunch playing the Three Card Monte. Dan-o from Epson is the guy who was playing the card, and this is Dan and Wes from Wacom. Wes just blew that $20 that you see there. He just lost $20 and Dan is giving him hell for it. Well, see there, the taxicab is in here somewhere. Yeah, here is the taxicab, and there is the guy driving the cab.
Who is that guy driving the cab? This guy. This is my hack license when I drove a cab in New York City. So that's me, in 1981, driving a cab. In this particular painting, I'm driving the cab down there in the street, so that's me down there. So, a lot of this, a good, I would say, a good 70% of this is all made up. It's just stuff that I wanted to stick in there, ads that I decided to stick in there, the little dirt and the little grime and the little stuff that I feel will make this come to life.
A lot of things that no longer exist are in this poster, in this painting, whatever you want to call this gigantic thing. So it's just a lot of fun - three years of having a good time.
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