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Robert Aguilera
March 17, 2018
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This project brought together everything I have learned about digital painting in Photoshop and really refined my style. It is a portrait of hip hip royalty, J. Cole. I added some graphic elements in the background, which are his birthdate and birth year, for aesthetic purposes. Sam Spratt is a huge inspiration for any digital painting I do, and I really tried to channel his style while adding a bit of my own as well.

I needed to test out a new Wacom Cintiq, so I searched the web for an old and seldom used image of J. Cole. When I select a reference image, I try to choose something that I haven't seen before on fan art pages or Pinterest. This particular image was from an ESPN magazine from a few years ago. I also really liked the photo because of the lighting and how it shined from behind him. When I finished the painting and added some complementary graphics, I played around with the "replace color" (image>adjustments>replace color) and I found an icy green color than I really liked and thought went well with the graphic aesthetic.

The painting was done completely in Photoshop on a Wacom Cintiq 13in display. I used the brushes that Aaron Griffin (internet famous digital painter) posted on his DeviantArt page for download and free use. That made it a lot easier for me, since I didn't have to make my own brushes. The numbers added in the background are Futura Medium Italic and as I mentioned before, his birthdate makes up the background elements. I used the latin form of January to make it slightly more interesting as well (28 Januarius Mensis 1985). Below are some color variation options.

I hope to do more portraits and paintings like this with my new toy and so far I have gotten a lot of good feedback. But I really want as many people to enjoy this as pin it, post it, tweet it! Get it out there if you like it! You can get posters, stickers, and other things of this artwork on my Redbubble here:

Thanks for checking out my work! With any feedback or job opportunities please feel free to reach out to me via email at [email protected]. Also check out my website and follow me on instagram:

Robert Aguilera

I’m Robert. Born in Rochester, NY with family ties to New York City and beyond. Cultural exposures have shaped my style which is constantly evolving. I love being outside by the water, playing basketball and collecting old beat up electronics wherever I can find them.

I'm currently an Industrial Design student at RIT and can honestly say its something I have grown to be truly passionate about. The artistic license to help better someone’s everyday experience is what this field offers and what keeps me itching to design the world's next game changing product. I've had the pleasure of interning at Casabella Housewares as a product designer and am always seeking more opportunities for the future.

Please visit my website or LinkedIn where you can find more about me:

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