Some folks call him "the Uniqlo Kid"

I found (stole) this photo from an email promotion of my favorite brand of Japanese fashion basics.

I liked the "young Bill Nye Adventures" look to him and zoomed in to make a portrait. I almost always start with a linear drawing, so sometimes I try to force myself to work a little differently. In this case I just started with a big fat brush and color. This can give me a better sense of shape up front, but it can also lead to a comically long neck.

processPortrait of young man

I pulled some pink tones out from his skin to use as a backdrop, mottled with grey and the leftovers of my "palette". I find that using a broken textured brush as an eraser creates some interesting textures.

To share this image as a giant grid on Instagram I flipped the composition sideways and added a lot of additional canvas. These big grid images are never seen all at one time; you have to scroll through my web site or Instagram to see the whole thing. I like to change the orientation of the image along the way. A vertical image becomes horizontal along the way. I composited in some leaves from a photo I shot. I was out walking the dog and saw the last remaining yellow leaves clinging to a shrub. I liked how the yellow popped out from the background. I dropped that photo into the composition and erased everything that wasn't leaf and then brushed color over the entire batch. This gave a vertical direction at the "top" which blends into a horizontal layout at the "bottom".


I'm continuing my series of printer-paintings with this image. I printed the image out onto canvas and mounted the image to a panel. I had some test pages stuck in the print queue giving me some fin accidental print cruft on the top and bottom edges of the canvas.

painting process


I settled on obscuring the face entirely with squares. To make perfect squares I use painter's tape sealed with transparent acrylic medium. The little nook exposing his eye is a happy accident. I think this image needs a partner painting which inverts what is exposed and what is covered.

Portrait of young man with squares