Friday, October 15, 2010

Portraits of Gomez Addams and Julie Newmar

So my wife and I recently moved in to a new apartment and we decided to spruce the place up with a few cool vintage pictures to give it more of an artsy kinda feel. Then I thought, why not do my own pictures and paint them in ArtRage? :D  I quickly collected some reference photos and began. Here are the first two I have done so far.

Gomez Addams: I love the Addams Family. The TV series and the movies. When it came to decide which one I would paint, I had to go with the John Astin Gomez. I do like the Raul Julia version but I feel the original is more iconic and fun. I mean come on, look at the crazy face.

I couldn't find any one picture I was really happy with, so I based the painting on two pictures.

I love the crazy face he makes in the first episode and in the opening credits of the TV series, so I went with that face and the body of a pic I found online of him holding a cigar.

I had a lot of fun painting him in my own style while trying to stay true to the images. One problem I did have was the greys I was working with tended to sometimes mix into a light blue. This problem was easily remedied by just importing the painting in to Photoshop and bringing the saturation to 0.

Speaking of Photoshop, I did cheat a little at times, importing the painting into Photoshop and adjusting things I couldn't seem to correct in ArtRage. For example his nose was really a pain to get right.  I took the painting into PS and messed with it using the "smudge" tool. Then I took it back into ArtRage and touched it up. If things didn't look right, I just switched back and forth from Photoshop to ArtRage until I liked the way it looked.

However this might have caused some problems because after a while, ArtRage claimed that the file was "corrupted or didn't exist." Luckily all I had to do was "save as" one of the Photoshop files, and then ArtRage was able to recognize it. WHEW! Freaked out a couple of times when that happened.

And for the 2nd painting...

Julie Newmar as Catwoman: I ran across a few vintage pics of Julie Newmar as Catwoman and I had to paint one.

I love the picture I decided to use but I wanted to make a little bit more vintage looking, so I added a red tone in Photoshop and ended up with the pic below.

Then I just picked up the colors with the "eyedropper" tool and started in ArtRage.

This painting was a lot harder than the first. Julie Newmar has very sharp, distinct features and when I couldn't get them even close, she ended up looking very very strange.

Her forehead was another problem I had. Each time I painted and tried to fix it, her forehead always seemed way too large. So I just took into Photoshop and re-sized it.

Her hair is something else that came out way too large. I had intentionally exaggerated it to capture the hairstyle as a focal point. But I had made it way too big. So I, again, imported it into Photoshop, selected it with the "lasso" tool, copied and pasted, and shrunk it down a bit.

I did try to create the sparkles on her suit by actually creating tiny dots...yeah, that didn't work. I just went  over them with the "Palette knife" tool in ArtRage" and smoothed them out.

The one thing I would change in my process is doing the backgrounds on separate layers. The texture transferred over to the main images and kind of hid the cool paint textures I made on those.

It was a lot of fun doing these paintings and I even used them as a warm up before starting the day on other projects. I'm really looking forward to doing more, so be on the look out for some updates.



  1. Great work, Jon, and such an awesome idea to decorate your new place with some authentic Guerra masterpieces!

    I have to admit, though, that of the two I really dig the Gomez one the best. You captured him perfectly and it even reminds me a little of Eric Powell's pencil artwork in The Goon.

  2. This is gorgeous and are you going to be offering prints? You should offer prints around the time of the next Batman movie that's coming out.

  3. Thanks for the kind words :) That's really good idea!