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Interview with Lee Chak Khuen (Puppeteer Lee)

By Simon Morse

Web: http://puppeteer.cghub.com/ (will open in new window)
Email: moc.liamtoh@505eelaaw

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Date Added: 18th July 2012

Your paintings seem to have a really nice textured look to them. Can you tell us a little about the process you use to paint and specifically about the way you introduce so many textures to your images?

Thanks again! I never merge a photo texture in my personal work. I think that it should be done with brushwork. Most of the textures are created using color strokes in Painter. I always paint with the watercolors first, and after that I use oil brushes to paint the details. Then I use watercolors again to improve the shadow and mid-tones to make it look more solid. I seldom polish my own work, but rather leave it a bit rough to make it look more dynamic.

I think that the way you create your textures looks really nice and gives a great illustrative look to your paintings. Do you ever scan in line art and use that as a base, or do you prefer to start drawing directly into your program?

I love to do line art before I start painting, but it's been a long time since I picked up a pencil as I do everything with the tablet. I draw directly into Painter, maybe because I am too lazy to scan. It does make my style quite different when I use a pencil and I do love both styles.

You have listed biking and jamming as some of your hobbies. Do you find it's important to get away from the computer screen from time to time, to see new things and be influenced by them in your art?

That is very important for me! Sure, motorbiking has influenced me a lot, which is why you can always see machines in my work. I love to rev away on it for a break, but since I crashed it last year, I feel a little like I am living in a cage at the moment.
I jam with my friends sometimes, but since everybody's getting busy, it's hard to find a free hour for this. But as long as I am alive I will try to find time to do this. I like to play guitar and drums - but not well (Laughs).

You can tell when looking at your portfolio that your hobbies inspire you a lot. I sometimes like to ask artists what they would be doing if they hadn't stumbled into CG art. What job do you think you would be doing if you weren't painting?

[Laughs]. I would like to think that I could be a racer, but I'm not rich and not talented... so maybe a musician (although I'm not talented at that either). Or perhaps a sculptor.

Thanks for freeing up the time to speak to us and for sharing your fantastic paintings. I will definitely be keeping an eye on your work!

You are welcome man, it's been my pleasure. I also wanted to thank you for the corrections to my broken English (Laughs)! Thank you very much!


To see more by Puppeteer Lee, check out Digital Art Masters: Volume 7

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