DT&G Magazine Editor's Column
Current Location: Graphic-Design.com / DT&G Magazine / Interviews Department / Rhoda Grossman  
If you've been to many of the top visual tradeshows and conferences, chances are you've run across Rhoda Drawing a Crowd! She blends traditional art with high-tech image retouching as the world's premier caricaturist. We were blown away by her thoroughly enjoyable new book Fun with Photoshop Elements 3: Foto-Fakery for Everyone and we knew we simply must introduce you to the
      First Lady of Art and Farce...
      Ladies and gentlemen, it gives me great pleasure to welcome ...

Rhoda Grossman

DT&G   Rhoda, you've not only put together a thoroughly enjoyable book about having some real fun with Photoshop Elements -- you also "draw a crowd" at conferences like the National Caricaturist Network convertions, Macworld and many different industry trade shows with your award-winning "Retail / Party Style." (Here's a shot of Rhoda doing her thing!)
      Thank you so much for joining us today

Rhoda:   Thank YOU, Fred for having me! I love chatting with other folks in the field... and THANKS FOR PLUGGING MY "RHODA DRAWS A CROWD" BUSINESS!

DT&Grhoda   Rhoda, you've done what many just dream about -- brought the time-tested art of charicature into the digital world... would that seem to be a contradiction: digital vs. traditional.

Rhoda:   Yes, I was doing caricature entertainment (and fine art) with traditional media for many years before I got into computer art. I still work both sides of the street, but I've been leaning more and more on my digital skills. I took the plunge about 15 years ago, and . It was exciting being on the cutting edge and watching my skill level increase while the technology matured right along with me. Then there's my basic laziness, and need for instant gratification.... who wants to spend time and energy preparing canvasses, sharpening pencils, mixing paint? Not to mention saving enormous amounts of space needed to store unsold work.

DT&G   drawing with people with Corel Painter What parts of your traditional caricaturist style and technique carry over into your digital work -- and visa-versa?

Rhoda:   Great question! It's always amazed me how much cross-pollination there is between the two. The self-confidence I have working with Prismacolor pencils on vellum card stock (where there is no erasing, and of course no "undo") makes me fearless when I am at the computer.
      Speed is essential to create and maintain my energetic and spontaneous drawing style. The combination of tools and brushes I use in Corel Painter to work quickly and expressively has evolved over the years. My digital experimentation with wild "impressionist" color (purple hair, blue and green skin shadows) has transferred to my traditional technique.

DT&G   drawing (Folks, take a look at some of Rhoda's most recent caricatures Aren't they fun!)

Rhoda, the "Fun with PS Elements" book covers a wide range of 'tricks' from switching faces on bodies to digital elastic surgery, to special effects makeup -- and they're all fun. But I know you must have had a particular chapter where you had the most fun. Which was your favorite.

Rhoda:   As a professional caricature artist, i enjoy any opportunity to distort the human face. That puts the chapter called "A Cruel Twist of Face" in the running. On the other hand, the "Artsy-Phartsy" chapter was big fun, 'cause I got to make fine art from photos of my family. Then again, there's that project in the "Fool Me Twice" chapter where I create the box for a breakfast cereal called "Yucky Swarms," with colorful marshmallow bugs. Tough choice, Fred!
Clips from Rhoda's Book

DT&G   ... and following that -- could you point us to the area of concentration in the book that would be the best place for beginners to get started?

Rhoda:   The first couple of sections in the chapter "From Insult to Injury" show quick ways to create skin blemishes and pock marks. The "Kid Stuff" chapter includes a wide range of projects that aren't just for kids: drawing with the WACOM tablet, chocolate text effects, Cookie Cutter cartooning. Did I mention the reptile-burger lunch?

DT&G   drawing [Laughing] Fun for the whole family! (If you happen to let your kids loose on your computer!) One of my favorites is Mirror, Mirror, Off the Wall ... one that everyone should get!

Rhoda:   Yes, that one too! In fact, Fred, everyone can get it today... let's see, I have the link here somwhere...

DT&G   Rhoda, while you're digging for that link, let me just say that on behalf of myself, and all the DTG readers, THANK YOU very much for joining us today -- it was really great! So many of the digital artists and authors we interview are a little on the serious side; it's wonderful to get to spend a little time with someone who has so much fun with digital graphics.

Rhoda:   Yes, it has been fun, and I hope your readers get a little shot in the arm today -- that you can have great fun poking fun with digital graphics. It's been a pleasure! You come and visit any time!

DT&G   Well folks, there you have it! A visit with Rhoda Grossman!

best choice Wish your ex-boyfriend wasn't in that great picture of you with your family? Cut him out! Hate the shirt you're wearing in the picture of you with your best friend? Change the color! You can do all of this and more with Rhoda's new book Fun with Photoshop Elements 3: Foto-Fakery for Everyone -- it's just $16-bucks, and you'll get a lot more value out of it than that, just thumbing through looking at the pictures!

Yes, and Rhoda did find the link to my favorite chapter, where you can make anyone younger in minutes... yourself, your mom, your wife, Martha Stewart, whoever! So please enjoy this complimentary chapter Mirror, Mirror, Off the Wall ... but to get the most fun from Rhoda, pick up a copy of Fun with Photoshop Elements 3: Foto-Fakery for Everyone today! And be sure to visit Rhoda at her web site "DigitalPainting.com"

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