Creative Inspirations: Bert Monroy, Digital Painter and Illustrator
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.) Bert Monroy: Reproducing Times Square is something that I have wanted to do. Even before the computer, when I was working traditionally, I always wanted to do Times Square, because it's such an incredibly colorful place, and I like doing neons. And where do you find more neons than Times Square? Now, what makes my work unique is that it's not a photograph. So I am creating these things very sharp, very large, so I can get all the detail I want.
Epson love my stuff because of that. No matter how big they make it, it's going to look sharp. Nothing is out of focus. Well, here is the actual character I created, and there it is in the actual size it's going to be in the final painting. I went and createe a lot more details sometimes than I need, just so that when I bring it down it's going to look really clean and crisp. Something in my head clicked and said, "This is it. This is the media of the future," because I used to work large to get detail in my paintings. Digital just changed the whole landscape of the graphic arts industry.
When I write a book and showing all the stuff that I did, it's not really giving away my secrets; what it is is this is what I did with that particular tool. Now, here is how it works. You do something. I had eaten here many times before, but I never was inspired to paint it until that one moment, because the light was just right, the shadows were just right, and the inspiration hit me, and I said, "Here is a painting." Art is a personal thing. I don't do my paintings for other people. If I did, I wouldn't be doing rusty old bar signs.
I would be doing nice little floral arrangements with little fruits baskets and stuff that people want to put over their couch, not a rusty bar sign. I do things that I feel, things that I want to do. We should find that little child inside of us that just does something just for the sake of it, just because it makes us feel good and because it's fun doing it. (Music playing.)
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