Lines and Colors art blog

C.F. Payne (update)

C.F. Payne
With a terrific skill for caricature, a flair for whimsy and superb draftsmanship and technique, C.F. Payne has long been recognized as one of America’s foremost contemporary illustrators.

His clients include Time, Sports Illustrated, Rolling Stone, Esquire, National Geographic, The New York Times Book Review, The Atlantic Monthly and a wonderful series of covers for Mad magazine.

Since I last wrote a brief post about him back in 2005, Payne now has his own website and a Behance portfolio and is well presented on the site of Richard Solomon Artist’s Representative.

Payne has an amazing ability to combine cartoon-like sensibilities with an underlying solidity of drawing and refined, richly textured rendering that give his illustrations an exceptional punch. His likenesses are simultaneously entertaining and revealing, making fun while exploring the essence of the figure’s personality.

Payne has recently collaborated with Astronaut Mike Kelly on the upcoming children’s book Mousetronaut: A Partially True Story (Amazon link here) that is due out in October of 2012.

His Behance portfolio has the largest reproductions of his work I can find, but the selection on the Richard Solomon site is much more extensive. Both have an example step through of his working process.

There is a 10 minute portrait demo video of Payne working and explaining his process on Vimeo.


4 responses to “C.F. Payne (update)”

  1. I love his work. I have always thought it was like Mort Drucker on overdrive.

  2. Chris is just as generous a teacher as he is a gifted artist. I have had the pleasure of interacting with him and calling him a friend for many years. I am constantly in awe of his ability to capture the essence or a person in such terrifically pleasing fashion. What a talent.

  3. Caroline Giacobbe Avatar
    Caroline Giacobbe

    We have an 2 original Payne works. He is an awesome talent! His work is so crisp, clear, to the point, and unambiguous–exactly what is needed in a good illustration. I draw portraits and caricatures and find I can create a much better caricature if I draw that person as realistically as possible first, from scratch. by the time I am done with it I feel I know that face like the back of my hand, hence can make a much more effective caricature. Does Payne do that as well?

    1. Thanks, Caroline. I don’t know the answer to your question, but your process certainly makes sense to me. I know of two sources offhand for information about Payne’s working process, one on the Richard Solomon site: and another on YouTube: