Creating a portrait from a digital illustration

My latest painting is a portrait of my brother, sister in law, and their pet cat. I used an old photo of the lovely couple from New Years Eve a few years ago. The original photo shows my sister in law wearing a cardboard NYE hat, but I omitted this from the sketch so that the final result would appear more formal.

The first stage of my process…

The foundation of every good portrait begins with line work. I always sketch my work digitally, then transfer the basic outline to my canvas. Details that are important to defining traits of the subject (i.e. the small patch of white hair on Armani the cat’s chest) must be captured. With line work, it is important to remember that the essence of the form should be captured first, followed by finer details. The profile of the subject (the head shape, neck, and body) is important to be captured accurately. When doing line work, I always endeavour to avoid getting too caught up with facial details (dimples, beauty marks, and aging lines).

With line work, it is important to remember that the essence of the form should be captured first, followed by finer details. The profile of the subject (the head shape, neck, and body) is important to be captured accurately. When doing line work, I always endeavour to avoid getting too caught up with facial details (dimples, beauty marks, and aging lines).


The second stage of my process…

Once the outline is captured, colours are layered on the canvas. I always use a watered-down paint mixture to “wash” the early layers of each colour in. By using a wash technique, the colours are able to be “built” upon. “Building up” layers of colour allows for a much smoother end result. Notice the magenta colour of my sister-in-law’s shirt: I made a mistake here and did not water down the first few layers of the magenta colour. Because of this error, one can quite visibly see that there are uneven applications of colour. You can also see very distracting brush strokes…(I am so disappointed by that!).

I think that having brush strokes visible makes the piece look amateur-like. As I improve my technique, I really want to work on this. I think that I get overly excited when starting and finishing a piece; and I skip important steps. I seem to mainly have this problem with my portrait work though.

The third stage of my process…

This stage is where final details are completed. My heart and mind race during this stage. It is the part of the process where everything comes together, and if it fails to execute, the long hours of work put in may have been wasted.

My artistic style includes basic shading and highlights as my skill improves. I am working on making faces appear more life-like. The final painting is shown below in detail. My brother was impressed by the work, and I presented it to him for Christmas.

2019 has been a year filled with surprises. For the past several months I have consistently posted new blog entries on a weekly basis. My desire was to see where I could take my blog with consistent and measured attention. As I have grown as an entrepreneur, so have my goals. I am beginning to become involved in more diverse projects that require time and dedication- some of which I will need to borrow from the anieksteph blog. As a result, instead of weekly posts the anieksteph blog will become a monthly blog, and will focus on rewriting and curating existing content.

Our landing page will likely change to a static front page with information on how to contact me, and links to the current areas of the site. The blog posts will still remain- so do not worry about where to find your favourite posts.

Thank you for stopping by. If you are interested in reading more about my upcoming projects visit my Instagram page, or my new Facebook page at Art by Konu.

Happy New Year!

-S

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