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