Monday, October 16, 2017

Video Portrait of C.F. Payne

American illustrator and teacher C.F. Payne is the feature of a new hour-long documentary called "C.F. Payne: An American Illustrator."

Payne is known for his award-winning Time covers, MAD magazine caricatures, and children's book illustrations, which he has produced over a span of nearly four decades. "It's not a race. It's a marathon. You just keep working."

His whimsical and affectionate portraits of celebrities and sports stars usually start with sketchy drawings. Many of his editorial assignments have to be completed under extremely short deadlines. 

In the documentary he talks about the pressures of a freelance lifestyle, and we also get the benefit of hearing the perspective of his wife and two sons. 

One of the themes that runs through the documentary is Payne's love of baseball. He paints a giant cutout of legendary player and commentator Joe Nuxhall to decorate the stadium of the The Joe Nuxhall Miracle League Fields

The film lets us see over his shoulder as he produces some of his multi-media paintings. But this isn't a technique video, and we don't really get the details of his materials or working process, nor does he explain his specific approach to caricature. 

However, if you buy the bundled version, you get a couple of demo videos along with the main feature. In those demos, C.F. Payne goes in detail about his process. 

 C.F. Payne: An American Illustrator is a portrait of a regular, hard-working guy, a good video to share with a young person who might be contemplating a career as an illustrator.

Payne is committed to drawing every day and always improving his ability. "I drew all the time as a young person," he says. "I love making art. It's the place I love to be."

Teaser for "C.F. Payne: An American Illustrator" from Tony Moorman on Vimeo.
Facebook page for the film
C.F. Payne: An American Illustrator is available on Vimeo for $4.99


Tom Hart said...

Thanks for the great tip James. I just bought it (downloading right now). It's too bad that it doesn't include a discussion of technique, but clearly a 1 hour video can't do everything, and that obviously wasn't the filmmaker's focus anyway. I notice that Vimeo has a couple of other videos on his technique, but they appear not to be extremely high-production videos, although that's just based on my initial impression, which may be incorrect. C.F. Payne's work brings a smile to my face. His caricatures are warm, without the unkind tinge that many examples of that genre are prone to.

Gary Dombrowski said...

If you get the bundle it comes with two separate demos of an illustration depicting movie director John Ford and one of Jim Thorpe. Both cover his process in good detail.