September 27, 2020

Vecor drawing of tiger


I was drawing a different artwork in which I decided to add this tiger. While creating the bog cat I thought it might be a nice piece by itself. It is all vector, zero pixels, drawn in Affinity Designer. So far (Sept 27 2020) the base has been drawn. I will probably add the tiger's fur later, using my Huion tablet. Oldest stage at the bottom, newest on top.

Stage 4 - Sept 27 22:00 hrs

Stage 3 - Sept 27 10:00 hrs

Stage 2 - Sept 26 21:00 hrs

Stage 1 - Sept 26 10:00 hrs

September 10, 2020

Cartoonish vector T-shirt design


While creating a collection of T-shirt designs, I sort of accidentally started a creating a cartoonish vector design that I never intended to draw. The program I used is of course Affinity Designer. During the process of progressing I began adding more detail, which can easily become an almost never ending treat that will only be limited by the amount of space that is available. I clipped the square drawing in a circle since this is the trademark signature for my T-shirt designs that allows me to a circular text around the image.

The top image can be viewed in Google's Lightbox by clicking on it when you're on a PC or Mac (this does not work on tablets and phones) and the image opened there can be viewed in a new tab by right clicking on it to see it's original size, which is smaller than the file that will be used to the T-shirt print, that results in making more detail visible. Click on the image again (with the magnifying glass containing the plus symbol) to view the image actual size.

September 2, 2020

Setting up an online T-shirt shop


At this point I am in the process of creating a collection of T-shirts that I plan to sell online. I have many great ideas that I have turned into designs, while there are many more to come. Although the shirts still need to be placed online, I have an overview of the products in my website. You can take a peek at them by clicking here. Below you see examples of the shirts I have drawn. Besides shirts I have planned to sell stickers, offer logo design services and digital (vector) portraits and paintings.

Click the images above to visit the T-shirt department on my site. Be sure to visit my website regularly to browse and / or buy my products online and see the new entries I have created.

July 24, 2020

Elvis Presley Vector portrait

This is an other vector portrait of Elvis Presley, the king of rock and roll, but rumoured to be less noble in other departments, like many celebrities that were different persons off camera than when performing on stage, award festivals or attending some of their extravagant parties. The portrait is all vector, zero pixels, created in Affinity Designer. It is a much more simple than the previous project - the vector portrait of David Bohm - containing almost exclusively vector shapes and no vector brush strokes (except for the hair). I could probably have completed the image in one day, had I continued working on it, but I like to take my time to finish such works. At stage 3 I estimate I spent 5 hours on the portrait.

I utterly dislike the usual vector portraits that have hard edged adjacent shapes of different colour instead of natural gradients in parts of the face. Many years ago I tried creating realistic portraits in CorelDRAW and was forced to use the ultra tedious mesh colouring, which I absolutely hated, to get a result and was very happy running into Affinity Designer by accident. The same mesh colouring is required in Adobe Illustrator to draw realistic vector portraits. Only in the free open source Inkscape program was I able to get a reasonable result - not using the mesh thingie - without working months in a row on one portrait, but its interface was rather difficult to understand.

But in Affinity Designer the mesh misery is not needed and working with shapes that are Gaussian blurred, to which many fx is applied, allows much much faster editing (also afterwards) of both the shapes and colours than in the mesh ordeal of other programs. Affinity Designer allows artists to go crazy as they want in detailing, but could use some increased stability when ultra large and complex documents are being created, which I'm sure will be the case in the near future, given the sincere approach of the developers I noticed in the Affinity forums. You may want to take a peek at the Vector Page in my website to get a good idea of drawing vector portraits with Affinity Designer.

While drawing the David Bohm portrait the program crashed often in the later stages, probably because of the portrait's (very large: 4 x 4.7 metres) size and complexity (well over a thousand layers). Bear in mind that Affinity Designer is still in Beta stage at this point. Over time the developers have added many functions and corrected a ton of bugs, so I am confident they will be able to create a stable program, even for off standard project as I usually make.

The oldest stage at the bottom and newest one on top. I recommend clicking one of the images below to view them in Google's lightbox, that allows you to quickly flick through the various stages by turning the mouse wheel (when viewing them on a PC at least) to spot the differences between the stages. And please bear in mind that the image size is lowered by over 70% and that Google downsamples the image in addition.

Stage 6 

Stage 5 

Stage 3 

Stage 2 

Stage 1 

July 11, 2020

Vector portrait David Bohm

The late great David Bohm chose his own path through life and as a result got plenty resistance from the established that care more for their careers and opinions of their complicit peers than making a sincere effort to advance the progress of science. His father did not approve of him chosing a career in science and turned him a cold shoulder. Years after he was betrayed (twice) by his substitue father Oppenheimer and chased by the zealot McCarthy which coerced him to move to Sao Paolo, Brazil where he conceived the beginnings of his Hidden Variables theory, which could lead to both the theories of relativity and quantum mechanics being whacked at some point in time by using a different type of reasoning. It does away with science simply ignoring facts that allow it to uphold the mainsteam theories.

After having accepted a job offer in Israel where he worked several years, he moved to the UK, where he began collaborating with Basil Hiley. They contributed to solve the double slit mystery, which they visualized in an animation, based on the mathematics underlaying their theory. It proved the particle / wave duality theory was invented bunk that only served to maintain quantum mechanic's theoretical twaddle concerning the matter. His involvement with Krishnamurti allowed him to bridge science and spirituality (consciousness). David Bohm passed away in 1992. This portrait is my visual tribute to a great mind that was not afraid to make great efforts at the cost of great sacrifice.

I am drawing this portrait in Affinity Designer in which it is possible to draw realistic organic shapes, which is not easily done in programs of the competition that is hugely more expensive than Designer (Inkscape excepted, but that program has a difficult to figure out UI). I used a mix of drawing methods in this work that I sorted out in previous attempts to draw realistic vector portraits:
  • 'painting' with custom made vector brushes (mainly textures and creases)
  • drawing strokes and shapes to create realistic parts of the face (as a base to apply texture on in a later stage), including clipping objects inside objects on mulitple levels to create gradients that fx options, the colour gradient tool and custom transparency are unable to achieve
  • The hair was drawn with the Huion H610 Pro graphic tablet

The size of the portrait is rather big - 4.7 x 4 meter (....) which perhaps is the reason Affinity Designer crashed a number of times. I maximized the measure of RAM reserved for the program and reduced the number of undos from 1000 to 120 In the prgram's Preferences - Performance in an attempt to prevent crashing, but that didn't seem to make a difference. The number of layers / objects is high into the hundreds. So now, I save very often on two physically different hard drives to reduce the chance of data loss.

At this point (July 16 2020) the portrait obviously still is a work in progress. So stay tuned to see it being developed for as far the crashing allows me to do. The oldest stage is at the bottom, the newest on top. Click one of the images to go to see them in Google's Lightbox in which you can flick through the stages by turning your mousewheel (at least on a PC that is an option).

Update July 17 2020
The new Beta version seems to be more stable. No crashes while adding the hair, which contains numerous curves / objects. Also adjusting the artboard - centering the face better - worked which was not possible to do with the previous version that distorted the image. Kudos to the Affinity Designer developers.

Update July 18 2020

July 15 2020 - Experiment with noise

Update July 14 2020

Update 2 July 13 2020

Update 1 July 13 2020

Update 3 July 12 2020

Update 2 July 12 2020

Update 1 July 12 2020

Update July 11 2020

Update 4 July 9 2020

Update 3 July 9 2020

Update 2 July 9 2020

Start of the drawing July 9 2020

July 8, 2020

Vectorwhiz portfolio booklet

I have created a new portfolio in pdf the you find here, that you can download to view offline. The file size is 28 MB, so slow connections may need some time to download the document. I have resampled the images to 144 DPI (original resolution is 300 DPI) so that download time is limited while the appearance of the images remains acceptable.

Front cover page

This 88 page booklet was created in Affinity Publisher and contains:

  • vector portraits
  • vector paintings
  • vector illustrations
  • vector logos
  • vector T-shirt designs
  • pixel portraits
  • pixel paintings
  • 3D illustrations
  • 3D vector technical drawings
  • creative text - poetry

In the footer of each page in the document you find links to the TOC (table of contents) for easy navigation and a link to my website. The vector images were created in Affinity Designer, the pixel images in Affinity Photo and the 3D images in a 3D program named Rhinoceros v5. The poetry texts I usually create in Libre Office.

Affinity Publisher had trouble with the file for reasons so far unknown, but fortunately I was able to churn out a pdf file before it did. Publisher officially still is in Beta stage at this point, so it makes sense that things are not stable yet. I have good hope though that the developers of Serif (the owner of the Affinity programs) will be able to correct the bugs in a time not too far from now (July 2020).

My website - should you want to pay a visit  [wink wink, nudge nudge] - was made in Mobirise, the latest version of which seems to be much more stable than previous ones. Out of frustration about older Mobirise versions I wrote some unkind words about it (with good cause at the time) a few years back, but the latest version has not given any trouble so far.

June 19, 2020

Airbrushing again - 2pac

After not having touched the airbrush gun for a long time, I picked it up again and started to spray a freehand airbrush portrait of 2pac. Used the Iwata HP-BH and Custom Micron SB, Inspire H2O paint on canvas. Below are the various stages - at this point (June 19 2020) it still is a work in progress. Oldest stage at the bottom, newest on top. Note: the difference in the hue and subtle shadows in the canvas' grooves structure is the result of the fact that some pictures were shot during the day while others were taken at night in artificial lighting.

Colour overlay 3D experiment on computer
to see the effect that I'll perhaps airbrush

May 21, 2020

Vector self portrait

This is a work in progress (as per May 21 2020), created in Affinity Designer from a photo shot at X-mas eve in 2014. In the meanwhile I've grown too old and ugly to have (versions of) my mug published haha! It explains the choice for this old image that is more friendly to your eyes. The long hair is the biological antenna field on top of my skull that allows me to pick up impulses from elsewhere and elsewhen. It also reduces hairdresser costs and distinguishes my appearance from the dull and boring standard look that baffles individuality, making people as predictable as f××k (pardon my French).

This work does not contain a single pixel; it consists of 100% vectors. There is virtually nothing that can't be done in this vector drawing program that bitmap editors are capable of, with the distinction that the images created with it can be re-scaled to any size without loss of quality. It is why I draw realistic portraits exclusively in vectors. Still experimenting with different techniques to create a realistic vector portrait after some four years of doodling in Affinity Designer. The functions offered by this program to draw such a work are many. It suits portrait artists like me magnificently. This time around the challenge I set myself, was to get the maximum result with as little objects as possible. I may fail miserably, but would it kill me? Nope, I guess it won't. 

I work on this portrait intermittently because I spend time living as well. The oldest stage at the bottom, the newest on top. At the very bottom is a vector outline view of the eleventh stage. Click on one of the images to see them in Google's Lightbox. In the Lightbox the mouse scroll wheel can be used to flick through the images quickly. This is possible on a desktop PC and probably also on a Mac. Unfortunately Google in its infinite wisdom (and its desire to make huge profits) recently decided to allow only small images in the Lightbox. So, here's a properly sized version of it on the server of my website. Bear in mind that it's not yet finished, I still need to do some more work on the portrait. Stay tuned.

Stage 13 May 24 2020 - 23:15 hrs

Stage 13 May 24 2020 - 23:15 hrs 

Stage 11 May 22 2020 - 19:46 hrs

Stage 11 May 22 2020 - 19:46 hrs 

Stage 10 May 21 2020 - 20:01 hrs

Stage 10 May 21 2020 - 20:01 hrs  

Update May 21 2020 - 01:28 hrs

Update May 21 2020 - 01:28 hrs 

Update May 20 2020 - 11:23 hrs

Update May 20 2020 - 23:23 hrs 

Update May 20 - 09:20 hrs

Update May 20 - 21:20 hrs 

Update May 20 2020 - 19:00 hrs
Update May 20 2020 - 19:00 hrs 

Update May 20 2020 - 17:45 hrs
Update May 20 2020 - 17:45 hrs

Stage 11 vector outline view

Stage 11 vector outline view 

May 15, 2020

Fire fish graphic vector drawing

I thought I'd try something different for a change. The animal in the image - interpreted loosely - is called Lion fish in English, but I fail to see any resemblance to a lion. Perhaps the bloke that coined the name had one too many during liquid lunch. Anyway I like the German name - Feuerfisch which means fire fish - better although there aren't too many fires inside the sea or ocean (apart from submarine volcanoes). The combination of fish and fire invokes visions of a BBQ on which fish is prepared to be munched, which may be the concealed underlying psychological reason for my seemingly poorly founded preference. Also Feuerfisch alliterates and rolls easy off the tongue. Perhaps that inspired the German biologist to invent that name for the beast (possibly in addition to the effect of a few pints of lager). All this of course is pure speculation that lacks any provable ground, but such fuzzy impulse often is at the root of many a scientific theory as long as it is described in verbiage of which normal people have no knowledge about whatsoever. 

No update sequence in this blog entry because this drawing is relatively simple compared to the type of work I usually create. Most often used in this drawing was the clipping function that offers a world of possibilities. Especially in creating vector art, clipping is important because it offers the possibility to create a variation of edge types (hard and / or blurred) in one object or shape by multi-layer clipping and blurring. This spectacularly shaped venomous creature may look like I had one too many during lunch, but I stopped drinking like a fish a few years back after I quit custom painting bikes for motorcycle gangs. Just joking, smart people would never express such multiple aspect matters in writing (which by the way is circumstantial fishy conduct). Those seemingly compliant role model type of fake people usually are the biggest corrupt pervs beyond the reach of the public eye. Either that or they are people that are easily conditioned due to a lack of wit and insight. 

Lion fish of Fuerfisch

Click the image to see a proper size version of it 

This is the first drawing in which I used 'Styles' rather a lot. Some styles are tricky though, because when overlaying them with strokes of objects or shapes the colour of the objects on top does not comply with the ones selected in the Colour tab. Maybe it is the act of clipping that causes this oddity, but simply drawing them on top of things excludes the possibility to restrain the overlays inside the borders of the overlayed object. When creating highlights or shadow edges in an irregularly shaped object I clip strokes or objects inside the object that I want to give highlights and / or shadows because I want their edges to comply. This gives more control than applying 3D fx to the object in which functions affect each other. Clipping highlights and shadows allows to draw them as intended, except when certain types of styles are used that apparently influence the colour of the overlayed clipped object or stroke.

Image with transparent BG for T-shirt print

Image with transparent BG for T-shirt print

An other (colour) variation in the rings

May 8, 2020

Vector portrait of Mike Ehrmantraut (Breaking Bad)

This is the vector portrait of Jonathan Banks who played Mike Ehrmantraut in 'Breaking Bad'. The portrait was created in Affinity Designer in which I still am experimenting because I continue to discover different ways to create certain effects. In this particular work I often used the clipping of strokes, (custom made) brushes and objects (shapes). I used Gaussian blur a lot on both the clipping objects as the clipped objects, which can go several levels deep without a problem. ALL objects are given the parameter: scale with object, so that the image can in theory be re-scaled to any size without loss of quality.

Mike Ehrmantraut - 'Breaking Bad'

Some details, like the eyes, are intentionally drawn differently from what they look like in the reference image to enhance the visual impact of the image without giving up likeness. In every portrait the eyes determine 'the look' of the artwork. The choice of more or less differing colours can also be used to create a more dramatic effect. These are among my most used tricks to draw portraits that are more than just accurate copies of photographs. I prefer to create some sort of visual metaphor that reflects the way I perceive characters in an attempt to highlight the essence of their personality by revealing what (I think that) hides behind which is obviously noticeable at first glance, because everyone wears a mask, a fact of which some are not even aware that they do. I like to suggest to the observer to look beyond without encouraging to dissect in an invasive way, because when observing becomes judging one can no longer enjoy art. 

Custom designed vector Brushes can be used as textured shapes in various ways that I may explain in a video tutorial when I have enough money to by a decent cam and get the hang of video editing software. It is a very interesting option for artists that use a lot of organic texture in their artwork, but it is not an obvious thing to do. Affinity Designer is able to handle the unusual array of functions applied quite well; it doesn't crash. This currently (May 09 2020) is a work in progress. It is still far from perfect, but I learned a lot. Again (seems to be a never ending process). The various stages of development you see below - the oldest stage at the bottom, the newest one on top. At the bottom of this page is the vector outline view of stage 13 for the vector initiates. Click on one of the images to enter Google's Lightbox that allows to quickly scroll through the images with the mouse wheel (for those viewing this page on a PC anyway).

Mike Ehrmantraut - 'Breaking Bad'

May 19 2020 - stage 19 - 19 hours

Vector portrait of Jonathan Banks

May 09 2020 - Stage 15 13 - 14 hours of work

May 08 2020 - 13th stage - 11-12 hours so far