Mark Knopfler tribute


About a week ago I picked up a copy of ImagineFX, a digital sci-fi art magazine. It’s a really great magazine, full awesome art and tutorials. Anyway, it inspired me to do some digital painting of my own.

Lately I’ve been learning to play blues on my acoustic guitar, so I wanted to paint a guitarist. I like the look of those old school guys, but none of them are that recognizable (at least to me), so I picked Mark Knopfler instead.

Here’s what I came up with:

I’m pretty pleased, but also feel that it needs a bit more work to feel really finished.

Mark Knofpler on Guitar

Here’s how it went down

I used this reference photo.

I placed the photo into my Photoshop CS2 document and started painting using my small 4×5 Wacom Graphire tablet.

First, I tried painting from the unaltered original photo but it wasn’t turning out very well. I was having a hard time picking out the key shapes and details, and was also screwing up the proportions.

Here’s how it looked:

mark knopfler progress 1

Not satisified, I decided to adjust the contrast (via the Curves dialog) of the original photo to help simply the image. Once I was happy with the contrast adjustment, i started painting.

This helped a lot, and my painting was fairly close to the original.

Here it is:

mark knopfler progress 2

I used a chalky brush to define the outside of the black areas to make it seem more like a non-digial piece. I found a brown paper texture and a photo of a Fender Stratocaster to complete the piece.

In the future, I plan to use this technique as a starting point to a painting. Once I establish the general shapes / shadows, I can fill in the smaller details.


  1. mouse

    Freaking awesome! I feel the vibe! I like the Andy Warhol like colors too!

  2. Melbourne Mortgage Brokers

    Very impressive! You should do a whole series… Eric Clapton. Jimi Hendrix etc. That would make a very cool exhibition.

  3. sara

    Nice. I adore Mark Knopfler, and I like the series idea. You should pursue that.

  4. Lady Fuschia

    I like your work a lot. I do similar things, only I have yet to use famous people. My concern is that there might be some copyright infringement issues if I ever decide to sell these works.
    Tell me your view, experiences, etc. In the meantime, I have a lot of fun with faces off and people I know.

  5. geoff


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