Tutorial: Portrait Tribute to Indian Legends by Pankaj Bhambri

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They say imitation is the greatest form of flattery. For a designer, it doubles up as a way to pay homage to an icon and inspiration. Digital artist Pankaj Bhambri re-creates a portrait of the duo from a reference picture, adulation and following. He explains how.


Step 01

Picked the reference image to start the portrait. Observed three things that would play an important role in the illustration – mid tone, highlights, and shadows.


Step 02

Started with basic doodling. Worked in layers as that would help to separate elements in the composition and allow experimenting with lights.


Step 03

Found a cardboard texture on the net. Used it as a base for the illustration which would act as a middle tone. Multiplied that layer after importing it into the composition.


Step 04

Refined the doodle a little more and then started with wet media brushes with the respective colour palettes. The first palette was for Lata Mangeshkar while the second one was for Asha Bhonsle.


Step 05

Started with blocking shadows first with thick round brush of size 12 px.


Step 06

Added black with round wet brush for more details in shadows. Downloaded ink splatter brushes from the net. Used them in different angles as highlights in the composition.


Step 07

Used one of those brushes with scattering count 5. Refined till the desired effect was achieved. Used a round brush of 3 px for detailing with stylized black and white lines.


Step 08

With the colour palette for Asha Bhonsle, started blocking shadows and then highlights. Lots of practice and observation of objects in different lightings helped in this job.

Step 09

Blocked with the colours in the palette choosing dark for shadows and light for highlights.

Step 10

For highlighting, used a wet round brush with white colour as a contour over it.

Step 11

Used splatter brushes for final detailings.

Step 12

Made a random flow of colour to differentiate the main object from the background. This made the composition balanced. Used writing brushes downloaded from the net on the splatter layer that separated the background.

Step 13

Added writing brushes on a new layer and filled the splatter layer with different brush sizes. Erased the edges to blend the writing with the splatter brushes.

Step 14

Used floral texture downloaded from the net to give some interesting background.

Final Portrait

Published in Issue 11

This issue also explored the Jewellery Design & Wedding Photography with some cool techniques to learn from experts in Gyaan section.


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