iPod Touch Portait, by Susan Murtaugh

Can you believe that this portrait of me was created on an iPod touch? It was made by illustrator Susan Murtaugh, a very, very sharing soul. She worked for many hours on my portrait and can we talk about the monogram as well? I received this this morning and seriously, I can’t stop looking at myself. Or, should I say, my portrait.

Susan is a Graduate of the Chicago Academy of Fine Art with Majors in Illustration and Graphic Design. She’s worked for over 35 years in design and advertising, including 14 years as Owner and Creative Director of her own design firm. She has retired, but not stopped working and lives in the Town of Two Creeks, north of Two Rivers, on Lake Michigan, with her husband Phil and artist son, Alex.

Susan writes, “Pictures have always been in my head. My earliest memories are of attempts at expressing them. I suppose my first medium was crayon, but I’d use anything at hand—pencils, ball point pens; on any surface or material. That’s the kind of thing that will get a kid in trouble. I was fascinated by department store illustrations in the Chicago newspapers. This was my exposure to “art.” I can draw. It was something I could do better than most other kids and it was what I loved. In the course of my art studies and my work, I’ve used just about every medium – pencil, pen and ink, acrylics, oils, pastels. I’ve done wood carving, collage and assemblage. I enjoy them all. At heart though, I’m a draftsman. I always return to drawing as the basis for all my work. Since early this year my preferred medium has dramatically changed. And it’s being used by a growing number of artists in all genres. It’s digital. Not the familiar computer digital. I draw, “paint,” express myself on my iPod Touch, essentially an iPhone. I’ve been doing this since February, 2009. I use Brushes and Sketchbook Mobile apps. The effect is amazingly like painting on canvas. I start with a base layer and work up just as I would with oil or pastel. But I use my finger and occasionally a small stylus. To me the applications feel and look like my older pastel work. I’ve always loved my studio clutter but this frees me of it all. My “Touch” is with me all the time. Exploring this medium has excited me so that I’ve been working with Brushes developer Steve Sprang and the Canadian group, Autodesk, developing software that further enhances the experience of painting on a small screen and then outputting the result archivally on paper or canvas for display.” I could spend days on Susan’s Flickr site. Days. With my mouth wide open. To view her amazing portfolio for yourself, including her ipod/itouch portrait tutorial, click HERE.

HERE is a great video of artists using the same medium, including Susan who is featured at the end of the video.

Susan Murtaugh’s itouch/iphone portraits start at $150, and she illustrates other subjects as well. To contact her for a consult, you can email her by clicking HERE.

And…Not only did Susan illustrate a portrait of me, but she also created an exclusive illustration just for YOU, the JSIM readers! Just click on the gorgeous image of the pears to download your free Susan Murtaugh illustration for use on greeting cards, prints and more. (But please, do NOT sell the image.)
Thank you, Susan, for your kindness and for your sharing your brilliant talent.

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