Posted on 12 Comments

iPad Painting: James Whitmore


Here is another painting done on the iPad, very different than my usual style. This is a value study of the great character actor, James Whitmore. If I were to title this piece, I’d probably call it ‘Brooks Was Here,’ as it’s not so much the actor that I wanted to paint, but his character, Brooks Hatlen from The Shawshank Redemption.

For every larger than life Brad Pitt or George Clooney on the silver screen, there are a hundred brilliant character actors like James Whitmore. The sort of actor that everyone recognizes, even if you don’t know his name, and have never see him on the cover of People magazine. I love rich characters in movies, but those characters can just as easily fall flat without the right actor breathing life into it.

This painting was a pleasure to work on, as Brooks Hatlen has always been one of my favorite film characters. It didn’t feel right to paint this as a caricature, and even with the resolution limitations of the iPad document size, I could have spent many more hours on it. It really was a joy to paint.

Once again, I used the ArtStudio app and the Targus stylus. In a reversal of my usual method of painting on a white canvas, I filled the canvas with black, and then painted in shades of grey. This next image is zoomed in to 100 percent, so making it any larger would have given way to pixelation.

I’ve recently realized that I need to always have a painting or image to work on that has no deadline. While I spend all day drawing or working on my business, this piece was done over two evenings while watching TV, and an hour at the coffee shop yesterday morning. It was a nice break from the commission work.

With no shortage of wonderful character actors to choose from, I would imagine I’ll be painting many more of these.

12 thoughts on “iPad Painting: James Whitmore

  1. Wow,… Patrick that's an amazing likeness. I really loved that movie,… so many great actors.

    I don't suppose you have examples of how the painting was developed? I'd love to see your progress from start to finish.

    Again, great work.

  2. Thanks, Chris. I don't have a step by step on this or anything. It's just digital painting on the iPad. There are no tricks or anything. Start with the basic shapes and tones, and then refine the detail. Take your time and enjoy it.

  3. Wonderful work Patrick and great movie.
    Like Chris G above I'd love to see how it progressed.

  4. Wow that is an incredible peice of art. I had to do a double take as it looked like a photograph. I think you have discovered another way to showcase your character work. Great job.

  5. Awesome! Never knew that iPad thing was so useful! Excellent drawing and I must check out that app!

  6. Fantastic and beautiful work. The texture is amazing.

    I also use the Targus and ArtStudio app, which is by far the best art app available.

    Thanks for sharing!

  7. Thanks, everybody! Got a lot of response from this one. There's a good chance I may bring this into Photoshop and create a full finished painting from it.

    Michael, I deleted your other post as it was just a duplicate. I agree with you, of the ones I've tried, ArtStudio is the best app of the bunch.

  8. Monty, you used a stylus for this right? Please tell me that this isn't one of your "I just used my finger" drawings…

  9. Yep, Targus stylus, Firgs. 🙂

  10. Amazing!

  11. I love the tone and the details of the hair and eyebrows. I didn’t know iPads were capable of producing this type of image, not to discredit the artist. Are iPads also capable of using programs such as Adobe Flash Professional Creative Suite?

  12. Thanks. And no, the iPad does not support Flash.

Comments are closed.