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Illustrator and painter Tim O’Brien is best known for his incredibly lifelike portraits that have been seen in publications including TIME Magazine, Rolling Stone, Newsweek, The Atlantic Monthly, Entertainment Weekly, Esquire, National Geographic, Playboy, Penthouse, The New York Times, and many others.

He leads us in a different direction from his realistic portraits with this collection of intriguing conceptual artworks. Similar to surrealism, each piece has an immediate meaning as well as an unexpected and subtle element of surprise that requires a bit more investigation. For many of the works that he creates, he walks us through the artistic and collaborative process on his blog. It’s really fascinating to read about how each illustration evolves into his final designs.

O’Brien has incredible talents in creating illustrations that almost come alive on the page. To achieve the high quality final results of each painting, he describes his process, “I do a detailed drawing on gessoed panel. I work on sepia or grey half tone and draw with pencil, charcoal pencil, colored pencil, gouache. When that is done I use an airbrush to even tones and set the key of the artwork and add light and dark to areas. I then apply an acrylic coat to the drawing and paint over it in thin layers of oil paint. There, all the details and no secrets.”







Tim O’Brien’s website

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