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And now for something completely different. Seattle artist Chris Crites, aka bag painter, creates modern-day portraits from mug shots of the past using a five-color palette, a 10/0 brush, and a paper bag.

Once the subject is chosen, Crites draws a loose sketch on his medium of choice. His original photograph is then adjusted and contrasted in Photoshop so that there is enough definition for him to work with. Not unlike a vector artist might do when illustrating a photograph, Crites pulls five clearly-defined shade groups out of each photograph. Those shade groups are then used as a guideline for his paintings, and five colors fill in the shade groups via a kind of paint-by-numbers approach.

Talk about painstaking! Read the full interview with Crites at Redefine Magazine. His latest show, Cold Comfort, opened January 29 [2011] in San Francisco at the Jack Fischer Gallery and runs through March 5.

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