February 6th, 2014

Like many of the artists at The Mill, Corey Brown's creative talents go beyond his day job as a VFX Supervisor and Senior Compositor. In addition to creating wonderful sketches of our New York scheduling team as superheroes, he taps into his painting background to create beautiful digital portraits in Flame and Photoshop that mimic traditional oil paintings in both appearance and technique.

Corey's portraits appear to have the depth and texture of a an oil painting but happen to be created completely through digital tools. The idea came from a Mill project that called for a paint effect. After attempting to use Photoshop filters to create the result, he realized it would just be easier to actually “paint” the image himself.

Image 1

“I came to the conclusion that I have spent SO many years on the box, that pixels and the Wacom become like second nature, in the same way that a painter becomes familiar with their tools.”

Like a painter, he starts with a photo for reference and creates an outline to follow. He applies similar restrictions one would find if using a palette and brush: no blurring, smudging or filtering. But he does take advantage of the technology to create a palette of colors straight from the photo itself. He then "paints" or fills in the image from the palette like a painter, slowly building it up into the portrait.

Copycat Working Edit 2

Copycat Final Edit 3

Does technology trump tradition? Digital is quicker because you can match colors easily and you don’t have a brush to clean. But like many things in the modern age, sometimes it’s nice to get your hands dirty and directly interact with the subject. When you're an artist skilled in both mediums, the world is your canvas, off and online.

We've compiled a collection of Corey's work below.

Flame Portraits 

Output Xws7yq 4

Rozamatoz Edit 5

Paintingblue Edit 6

Photoshop Portraits

Lynz Workinprogress Edit 7

Traditional Portraits

Sketches 8

Scheduelers3 Edit 9

Smalldark Oil 10