Rob Johnson is an illustrator currently located in Washington state. A graduate of the Art Institute of Seattle, Rob knew from a very young age that he wanted to be an artist. His family was supportive in his endeavors towards art. He attributes much of his success to the encouragement of his father, who helped him paint murals on his bedroom walls, and his grandmother, who entered him in art contests. Rob’s childhood experiences play an intrinsic role in his creative work, exhibiting his quirky sense of humor that stemmed from a fascination of comic books, movies, and off-beat magazines.
While honing his skills in Seattle, Rob gained the confidence needed to turn his passion into a career. He began working in the computer gaming industry, allowing him to continue freelancing on the side. The skills he obtained through game companies began to incorporate themselves into his work as Rob began implementing 3-D elements into his paintings.
Rob’s work was selected for the Spectrum Illustration Annuals, a showcase of the best in Science Fiction and Fantasy Illustration, in 1998, 1999, and 2004. His evident talent allowed him to work with Washington, DC representative Donna Rosen for several years now. Rob also contributed to the success of clients such as Coldwell Banker, Edge Shaving Gel, Sports Illustrated, Dow Chemicals, Wampler Foods, Discovery, AAA, Erie Insurance, and the FBI.
Starting with an illustration board, Rob’s technique begins with adding texture by applying gesso. He then transfers his drawing and seals it with a matt medium. Rob then adds a generous coat of sepia and burnt sienna watercolor, allowing the drawing to be visible through the paint. After drying, he erases the highlights with water and Windex until the desired contrast is pulled. The darker areas of shadows are punched with an airbrush, smoothing out the hard edges. After applying one final coat of matt medium to add texture, the painting then dries overnight. The final details are added with colored pencil, acrylic paint, and airbrush; the piece is then sealed with a clear coat to bring out the colors and protect the original. His art, often described as “Rockwell on Acid,” is a reflection of his non-traditional style and outside-the-box views of the world.