Dale Cooper Portrait

Graphic Design // Photoshop art piece

Dale Cooper Black and white Portrait

Project Role

Artist // Graphic Designer

Project Brief

The purpose of this project was to recreate the likeness of an image in photoshop while being limited specifically to a graytone palette. The theory behind this constraint was to gain an indepth understanding of light values and how to differeniate separate objects and shapes realistically. The subject of the image was a personal choice, as I am a big fan of David Lynch's infamous series Twin Peaks.


The project began with the selection of an appropriate image. While it was clear based on the airing of Twin Peaks Season 3 that I would be selecting something related to the show. What remained to be decided was which shot I would pick. I put some thought into how challenging I wanted the image to be and decided that creating a sense of depth and separation with ojects stacked infront of one another would be preferable. Considering that and my desire to depict a human face would narrow my options a fair bit. I eventually decided upon the iconic thumbs up, for its' combination of the elements I was seeking.


The actual painting of the image was all and all a rather enjoyable experience. Being very familiar with Photoshop and painting within it, the various steps to this came naturally. First, I outlined Cooper's face with a basic sketch. After that, I layered in a flat midtone gray for the base of the image. Then, it was a matter of utilizing the pressure sensitivity of my Wacom Intuos Pro in order to create depth between the darker and lighter sections of the face, occasionally using stark lines to separate areas before blending with and adjusting with the smudge tool.


The end result of my work in this case is a realistic depiction of Kyle Maclachlan's character Dale Cooper with just a bit of stylization to the eyes and face which is enough to be distinguished as unique while still wholly resembling the person it is based off of. If you are interested, a full size version of the photo can be found here.

Agent Dale Cooper Process