Back during winter break of last year, 2013, I requested photos from friends so I could use them as references to paint some portraits. As I have been so focused and busy on the work of animation I hadn't actually done any serious drawing and painting for a long time and really wanted to get back into it. I was even more motivated to get back into it after going to CTN and seeing all the amazing artwork. I had five friends who responded and I started to get working. I didn't finish all of them in time, particularly as during the second half of my winter break, the Riot digital art contest came up. I've finally completed the last one sometime earlier this summer. "Completed" is a pretty loose term as I don't think that they're completely finished. I gave myself two to three days to see what I could do, explore, and push myself. Maybe I'll go back and polish them some more at a later time. One thing that I have been really wanting to achieve is that soft airbrushed quality look that I often see in digital paintings. For some reason I can never achieve it. It may be due to my background in oil painting where my professors were very against the concept of illustration. They believed that art should be about art and the medium so I always had to put a lot of paint on my canvas and to leave brushmarks in instead of smoothing things out.
Evangeline Spracklin This was the very first one I did so just to ease myself back into painting I went a pretty straightforward standard route. If I was to redo this now, it may be a little cliched but I would love to put her on the Throne of Swords from Game of Thrones and used a lot of that stark moody lighting.
Kunal Vaswani The only portrait of a male that I got to do, and also Indian. What was additionally interesting was analyzing how form changes due to the refraction from his glasses. I notice that it sort of seems like he is missing an arm due to the angled pose he is standing in. I do feel that extending it out might make it look unnatural and also it would break the nice squared off form that I was going for with the shoulders of the suit. Also, I hate painting black hair as I find it ridiculously hard. Since it's so dark it's really hard to get depth in it and if I try to add highlights it just looks like white/graying hair.
Anna Hayden In CG lighting we always talk about rim lights and how they help give an object form but the issue is that rim lights don't really occur that often in real life unless you decide to walk around with a light shining right behind you. Nonetheless I wanted to try a painting with a strong rim light. Anna had this clasped hand pose that reminded me of Albrecht Durer's self portrait where he posed in reference to many of the Jesus portraits so I decided to do sort of a sky/angel sort of thing, complete with a yellow halo.
Ashley Prescott I decided to go looser for this portrait and did it all with a rectangular brush instead of my normal set of brushes I use for painting. Ashley was a DXArt (digital and experimental art) major so it was even more perfect as I thought I would make it as artsy-fartsy as possible. I furthered that by sticking her coming out of a picture frame but with another picture frame in the back. Stripes are always interesting. I never know if I should painting the stripes in first with a base and then paint shadow and highlights over it on a separate layer or if I should paint the darks and lights as I paint the stripes folding around the shirt.
Melissa DeBarr I wanted to do something with really dramatic lighting. Melissa loves Batman so I looked to the poster for The Dark Knight to see if I could do anything with that. The poster itself is very stylized with a very blue lighting and a large fiery orange in the back.