C.F. Payne is an artist-illustrator whose artwork has graced the covers of Time Magazine, Readers Digest, Sports Illustrated, The New York Times Book Review and Sunday Magazine, MAD Magazine, der Spiegel, U.S. News and World Report, The Atlantic Monthly, Texas Monthly, Boys Life and more. He has been commissioned to paint countless politicians, authors and entertainers. He has illustrated ten children’s picture books, including The Remarkable Farkle McBride and Micawber, written by John Lithgow.
His artwork has been exhibited at The Cincinnati Art Museum, The National Portrait Gallery, The Norman Rockwell Museum, The Society of Illustrators Museum of American Illustration, The Selby Gallery at Ringling College of Art and Design and numerous college and university galleries.
He is currently the director of illustration MFA program at Hartford University in CT.
The New York Times
U.S. News & World Report
The Atlantic Monthly
The Washington Post
The Weekly Standard
The New Republic
The World Series
I like to draw. Good drawing is the foundation for my art. My drawing, my art has found its home in illustration. Illustration History inspires me. Illustration is the art form that tells a story. From the Lascoix cave paintings and the Baylou Tapestry to the Four Freedoms and the contemporary artists that we see today. I learn and grow. This would also include the work of comic artists, cartoonists, animators, illustrators, American Realists and European traditionalists. Ultimately, I believe that to be a good illustrator you need to be a good artist, with good communication skills, good drawing and design skills and a personal demand for excellence in craftsmanship and service to the job at hand.
The core of my illustration is good drawing. To get that good drawing I need to be sure my reference is the best it can be. The drawing is done with graphite for the majority of the piece and burnt ochre colored pencil for the skin tones. The under painting is done with acrylic paints in what would appear like a color-by-number process. This is followed by a watercolor wash over the flesh tone and optionally selected areas. With a very slightly damp brush I can life the watercolor from the areas I choose in order to establish the forms in the figures and more. When this is completed, I follow with a neutral violet oil wash to unify the picture. Once the oil wash is dry I can use a kneaded eraser to lift the oils from selected areas to better establish my forms in the final picture. From this point forward I work with colored pencils and acrylics to finish the art working the shadows in a series of transparent and translucent washes and building my lights and colors with more and more opaque colors.