New Self portrait

James-Portrait-2015

Inspiration and Getting Ready

Hi Everyone! Here is my latest digital artwork with my beautiful face on it. I decided to create this illustration while playing Dragon Age Inquisition. This game  has these beautiful illustrated cards with the main characters of the game. Bellow is one of them.

blackwall

Image source: Dragonage3

After studying the style and technique implemented in those cards I decided to give it a shot! First, since I was more focus in experimenting with the textures, colors and shades used in these cards, I didn’t wanted to spend time sketching so I just pulled out one of my ol’ Texas Renaissance Fest “selfies” and work with that.

Texas Renaissance Fest 2014

Art Process

My first step was to create the basic shapes in Adobe Illustrator and create a color library to ensure that everything will be consistent. At this point I look like a Tan Pilgrim Panda.

Portrait-Step-1

Once the basic tones and shapes where done, my next step was to transfer the artwork to Adobe PhotoShop and start adding shades and textures to the design. Most of the process was done with an hexagonal brush and the Smudge Tool.

Portrait-Step-2

Portrait-Step-3

At this point, without a background nor textures, I started to look more and more like a zombie which was distorting my perception of the design and made me make a lot of little stupid mistakes. Here I decided to stop working on the face and start with the background and clothes.

Portrait-Step-4

The Scarf

The scarf was probably the most challenging part of this project. After trying several solutions from gradients to solid colors to drawn lines and even blending different textures, the solution was to step back and partially redo the scarf on Illustrator. By using the top and bottom splines of the scarf, I used the blend tool and created 2 new splines inside the scarf, then draw a 5th spline to increase the texture. With these new splines I created 4 shapes and duplicate them.

For the first set I use gradients to give an organic shading to the scarf and, for the second set, I created a 6 point star pattern which I slightly rotated inside each shape.

Finally I transfer the new pieces to PhotoShop and voilà!

Scarf-Reference

Portrait-Step-5

The Background and MORE Textures

Once done with the scarf, I retook my path to work on the background to (hopefully) fix the face of my Zombie doppelgänger. Working on the background was extremely fun and I’m considering in implementing this style on my website. The background is composed by simple shapes done in Illustrator and using textures as masks and blending layers.

Portrait-Step-6

Portrait-Step-7

Final Touches

Once the background was done, I was able to continue working on the face. The background tones really helped me visualize the shades of the face and in no time I was able to add the final brush strokes and apply a surface blur to merge the shades. After that I added little details like hair in the beard and eyebrows, and a few more shapes in the background to balance the composition (since the hat is folded, it can be a little tricky).

James-Portrait-2015

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