Digital Painting Capstone
Welcome to the grand finale of this series of posts on digital artwork! In the first post, I discussed my past struggle with digital art and resurgent interest due to a new tablet purchase (Samsung Galaxy Tab S4). In the second, I talked a bit more about the app I have been using (Autodesk Sketchbook) and my improvements in technique. This post essentially serves as a capstone to my recent tablet learning experience.
Before I get into the actual digital art for this post, I wanted to mention sources of inspiration. In the first post, the sources were pretty obvious – one was just me, the other was from a photo of my sister’s cat. The second post though, which included a portrait of Not-Quite-Cate-Blanchett, I don’t actually know where the original image came from. I should have mentioned that before, but I forgot. Essentially, I had the image sitting in a big folder of artwork ideas. It looks like some promotional head-shot or something, but I don’t know where it originated – my apologies to the photographer.
For this portrait, fortunately I do know who to credit! I’ve discussed Unsplash images before, and this one came from an Unsplash photographer named Humphrey Muleba (user @good_citizen). If you aren’t familiar with Unsplash, it’s basically a collection of images available for any use for free (including commercial use!). It’s a bit controversial to some people, particularly professional photographers. But it’s a cool site to be familiar with for someone looking for practice ideas.
Anyhow, let’s get to the portrait. Here is the final version:
As I’ve said, I think this one is my best digital drawing/painting yet. My favorite aspect I think is the depth of color I used. I did a much better job here selecting appropriate colors to convey shadow, and I think that part even rivals some of my real pencil shading. I also think I did a surprisingly good job on the teeth. That’s a weird thing to be proud of, but traditionally I have struggled with teeth and usually leave them too white.
As with anything, there are flaws in hindsight. Obviously there are areas that ended up unfinished, like his shirt and in some ways the hair. Although I tried to show lots of light reflection on the glasses, that white light ended up also looking possibly unfinished rather than reflective. And the guy is driving, and I didn’t do anything about his seat belt.
Since I’m not traveling anymore in the near term, I’m glad I’ll be able to return to normal pencil drawing. I do miss it when I don’t get a chance to practice with good ol’ paper. And I’ve got a couple projects on tap that I think will be pretty engaging. But the digital experiment was a success this time overall, which was a great surprise considering the last experience I had. Although I may not do it much when I’m home, it is very convenient now to pop the pen out and sketch while just sitting around. A low barrier of entry is a big deal!