Illustrator, Mohan Sonawane, takes us through the process it took him to find and create a portrait with just the right amount of depth and perspective, one that would go on to bring a character to life on the canvas.
Drawing a face, by itself, is not an easy task; let alone a portrait that is synonymous with not just the way a person looks, but, in fact, is a representation of the characteristics and traits of the individual’s personality. Now, that’s no easy mission to engage; yet, Mohan Sonawane did take that it was worth a shot, and came up with this evocative portrait of actor Nawazuddin Siddique. He takes us through the moves it took him to reach the achieved execution.
Step 1: Primary Concept
To start off with, the background was put into effect by the use of the given base colour – one similar to skin colour. Further, basic line anatomy was put into application, also keeping in mind the face structure and proportion, at the same time. This was all done in the Rapid style of sketching, quickly just going step after step, not paying much attention to detail at that stage or phase of the illustration/portrait.
Step 2: Final Sketch
Following Rapid Drawing, final details were added into the sketch-work. For example, face expressions were introduced, which gave the subject the intense character and effective style. Something it is not only fundamentally essential to distinguish personality, but also necessary when one is trying to create distinct portraits. That is where an accurate face structure comes into shape.
Step 3: Choosing Brush
After studying many brushes, one particular brush with a strong stroke, and the apt depth to it, was finalised and chosen. The conclusion was reached only after having tried out a variety of options; they all, however, lacked the primary quality and effect that was desired to create the intended production. Nonetheless, the right one was eventually found to execute the needed depth.
Step 4: Primary Base Colour
At first, the basic middle tone colour was selected, followed by applying it to the whole drawing. Post that, the colours that were further used were selected as per natural colours. The whole intention was to be able to create an imagery that represented not just the face, but the very character itself that is synonymous of the person, so as to represent more than simply the face.
Step 5: Occlusion Light and Primary Colour
With the help of basic colours, a dark tone was given to the portrait. Thereafter, the initial shades and tones were converted to dark-to-light shades. This was done with the primary goal of providing a realistic texture to the subject, one that would make it synonymous of real life.
Step 6: Skin Texture and Details
After observing the skin texture, the Brush tool was brought into play, so as to give the much-needed set of details to the subject and his crucial character. In Photoshop, it is very easy to provide skin texture, as one can create whatever brushes one wants to apply in order to be able to achieve an accurate skin texture. That is what finally materialised or manifested into the evolution of the piece.
Step 7: Details
After completing the basic colour sketch, it became very easy to add on a lot more of the face details – one could thus highlight them, as they were very much in the designer’s control, even though it also depends on the subject’s characteristics and expressions. The best way to overcome that challenge is to actually be observant, and take time to grasp them in all their depth.
Step 8: Reflection Light
When we see an image that has surrounding lights reflection on it, the drawing looks natural due to the reflecting light. It adds a very natural feel to an image. The same very basic thing was also applied over here, allowing there to be a natural light on the face, which looks very attractive.
Step 9: Final Compose
After completing the entire work, colour creation and background were further explored. Both aspects worked to create just the right amount of depth. And, finally, the ultimate picture starts taking solid root and shape. Due to this reflection of light, the desired output could be well achieved at the end.
Published in Issue 39
As the festivity is all around, every brand or business is trying to impress the Indian audience. But what really works for us Indians? What is an Indian design? And how we can make designs for India? To understand it, we interviewed some Indian creatives who are successfully creating designs for the Indian audience.
This issue of Creative Gaga is a light read for someone looking for inspirations or insights on Indian design and how the Indian audience can be enticed. So go ahead and order your copy or subscribe if you want to keep receiving a regular dose of inspirations!
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