Digital and Ball-point artist, Shital Verma, tells us about his process and idea behind creating portraits of renowned individuals from various fields and what exactly it takes to bring out what they symbolise or stand for as personalities. In other words, highlighting their unique stories which make them a recognizable face.
CG. How do you conceptualise the use of lines and textures in your works and how do you execute them?
Shital. To begin with any drawing or artwork, I look at the character first and what kind of lines or textures justify the artwork; whether it’s a ballpoint pen drawing or digital drawing, and such other aspects. Lines and strokes, in particular, are my priority. All this helps me gain a clear picture of how I want to further proceed with the conceptualisation and execution.
CG. What fascinates you most about the stories behind every face while creating portraits?
Shital. I choose some distinguished characters for portrait paintings, such as Salvador DALI, Zohra Sehgal, John Hurt, Ranbeer and many more. Their expressions with which they get naturally or symbolically associated with over a period of time are what tell their on-screen and real-life stories to the audience. I mostly try to represent and portray their charisma in my works, in the best possible way. In Virat Kohli’s portrait (on page 38), for example, I tried to bring out his toughness and determination through lines.
CG. Which software and tools do you mainly use and how do you apply them to achieve the desired effects?
Shital. I mostly use a digital pen tablet (Wacom Cintiq), as well as pencil and ballpoint pen, as my favourite tools. For digital artworks, in particular, I use Photoshop and Painter. Today, there are a great number and variety of tools with diverse functions that are easily accessible and available, so it all depends on what needs to be executed and in which manner.
CG. What is the main intention you wish to achieve through your work?
Shital. Being an artist, I mostly do it for my own satisfaction, while sometimes I get the opportunity to create something for the newspaper or for a friend request. Subjectivity is what essentially lies at the crux of any form of art, which is why there is no ‘right’ or standard answer to why we do it. The process itself is as gratifying as the result, if not more. So, in my case, the idea is to attain fulfilment within myself through my work.
CG. What according to you are the most essential elements of creating portraits and how can one master them?
Shital. In my opinion, the eyes are the most essential part of the portrait and 70% to 80% of a portrait’s character comes out right when the eyes are drawn accurately. Yet, it does not mean that mastering the skill of drawing the eyes allows one to compromise on the other aspects as they too are equally important to add to and complete the character.
CG. What would you advice others young designers who practice a similar line of work?
Shital. My advice to young artists is to do more and more sketching and life study, structures, nature study apart from your digital work. Sketching is like ‘Riyaaz’ – the more you sketch, the finer the artist you become. The scope to create is wide open, much like the horizon; all one needs to do is stretch and deepen their vision, for the sky is the limit.
Published in Issue 43
With the changing weather comes the season of Interns, with fresh new energy everywhere. With this comes dilemmas like where to intern and how to get selected in your favourite studio. So to bring little more clarity on current market trends of selecting the right interns, we interview some of the well-known studios to find their ‘Secret Process’ of selection.