May 26, 2018

Vector painting - 'Crossing Death's Frontier'

This work probably is completed now (June 10 2018). A first attempt at making a realistic 100% vector portrait created in Affinity Designer. To be brutally honest I hate the proverbial vector portraits drawing method (no offence) that are full of hard lines that artists often try to hide by fiddling with the colours of semi natural shapes, because most vector drawing programs are simply unable to produce proper blurred edges. This shortcoming has been promoted to be some type of trend (which is what dodgy marketing departments do and gullible artists mindlessly believe), but it remains an absence of functionality nevertheless. Affinity Designer does not lack this crucial function. I admit that similar effects can in theory be created (in Illustrator and CorelDRAW) using the mesh-fill tool, but that requires a whole lot more time and skill and leaves significantly less room to improvise (which is what I did a lot in this particular painting).

Affinity Designer's parametric characteristics allow to change almost everything at any point in the designing process. This is impossible to do on-the-fly while using the mesh-fill tool in Illustrator and CorelDRAW. I'm aware of the mesh-fill technique b.t.w. because I tried doing that in the past. It requires a heap more time to create, painkillers to combat headaches and does not allow much tinkering once a drawing has been created, where as Affinity Designer offers almost unlimited possibilities in this field that don't require a great deal of time to accomplish. The magnificent open source program Inkscape has similar features, but its user interface is rather difficult to see through, particularly for those used to the Corel and Adobe UI's. Affinity Designer has a similar look and feel as those and shares many (programmable) shortcuts.

I'm currently trying to prove that by creating this vector painting and the vector portraits I've previously created, it is possible to create art that is indistinguishable from pixel art - the advantage being that vector art is resolution independent; it can be scaled to any size without losing quality. The results may not be perfect yet, but I feel I'm getting there. The outer edges of the shapes were blurred intentionally to give the painting a realistic appearance. Several sub-drawings were created to create ornaments mostly that were later placed (and edited) in the main drawing. Below you see the progress sequence. I will be posting updates in the time to come. This is a meticulous and labour intense process, so it may require some time. Affinity Designer's almost 100% parametric functionality allows endless tinkering to correct mistakes and / or apply enhancing effects. Click on an image to see larger versions in Google's light box that also allows to scroll through all images.

This is what it would look like when framed
Current hight over 1 meter, but infinitely scalable

HDR effect added

Completed (for the time being) vector painting
stage 20 of June 10 2018 12:08

Detailed view of vector painting
stage of June 10 2018 09:33

The measurements of the original drawing are 156 x 126 cm, but the image can be resized infinitely to be smaller or bigger without losing quality (which is a characteristic of vector drawings). Creating this vector painting approximately cost me 2 months, working on it on and off. I am considering to make it available for print. This can be done on paper, (behind) plexiglas or on (dibond) aluminium by a print shop of which I am certain they can produce optimal quality. Contact me if you are interested.