Digital Painting of Bollywood legend - Amitabh Bachchan

Digital Painting of Bollywood legend - Amitabh Bachchan

Faces are an interesting subject, and often we come across one that has an expression telling a story. Vivek Arvind Mandrekar saw one such story in  facial expression of Amitabh Bachchan and captured it by means of a digital painting. Below, he takes us through the various steps in order to tell and capture such tales.


It is an important step to follow before starting any painting as the image size will be little heavy to change anything later. So firstly, a basic raw sketch is drawn on a colour background which is further blocked through flat colours for defining shadows and highlights in different layers while keeping sketch as a guideline. The required areas are then dabbed for a smooth blending.


Step 01: This part is pretty straightforward, where blocked shadows and highlights are employed using basic selective skin tones.

Step 02: Further, various layers are painted using the customised textured brush to obtain the final skin texture.

Step 03: The last thing missing from the skin is the realistic texture of pores and wrinkles. This is established using a scattered brush spread. Here, one must zoom in and out beyond actual pixels by studying the tiniest of areas to observe minute details with paint stroke of a customised textured brush. This is also one of the most time-consuming steps but makes all the difference.


Step 01: The beard area is under painted by blocking the base with a hard brush. Each strand is then painted by changing the size, angle, roundness and hardness of the brush with each stroke.

Step 02: The same is continued by altering the opacity and dynamics of the brush and by zooming in further to work on individual hair strands. This is one of the toughest parts to execute.


Step 01: For this part of the painting, both dark and light base is used as the base of the hair colour. Like the beard, here too each strand is stroked by changing opacity, angle and roundness of the brush.

Step 02: The base of each hair strand is then further built by applying a customised textured brush and painting each strand with a small hard brush to obtain the desired details.


Here, basic blocking with shadows and highlights is used followed by rendering to create soft focus effect with the help of a soft brush.


Once the beard and hands start taking shape, continue painting the shirt by filling in the creases with shadows and tones to achieve a proper compilation. Use light and dark tones to render the folds and blend with a soft brush. And finally, for thread stitch finish, use a medium hard sized brush.


Step 01: The eyebrows, eyelids, iris and pupils are painted using a basic brush by adding textures and colours. This is then blended with different layers and softhard brushes by masking the glass. The glasses are not painted in this instance. Instead, a pen tool is used to draw and clip mask, after which the edges of the glasses are painted.

Step 02: Once the eye basics are ready, the veins are painted and a sense of depth is added using a technique of zooming into each detail. Following this, the edges of the glasses are painted in. A great person to get inspired for spectacle painting techniques can be obtained by following the work of SheridanJ on her Deviantart page.


Once the painting of Amitabh Bachchan is ready, it is flattened and various dodge-burn tools have experimented for highlights and shadows. Furthermore, colour temperatures, balance and curves are also adjusted. Lastly, the background is worked upon through customised textured brushes and grading colours to a depth of field.

Creative Gaga