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A Mini Art Show, Presenting… Anime Self Portrait

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A year ago, I experimented with different illustration styles and media. I decided to try an anime style, despite never admiring anime too much.

However, I did the research, and saw the different styles. I liked the one with the semi-realistic figure, but different facial features. So I tried it.

The outline was drawn in pencil on paper. The color was done in Photoshop. I added some tints and tones to give my image more dimension and not all flat colors.

I also changed some colors of what I really had. For instance, my hair was not blue or purple (whatever you may call that). The stripes on my dress were not sea green, either. Everything else, however, was the same color.

The strengths I experienced were drawing by hand and coloring in Photoshop. The weaknesses were trying to achieve an anime style. Since I never went crazy over anime, the style might not match what anime fans would expect.

However, I appreciate how I expanded my horizons out of my drawing comfort zone and tried something different. That is how we all improve our skills and talents.

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The Great Art Comparison: Traditional vs. Digital

Many of us have learned traditional art in school. It was required in elementary school and probably even middle school (at least for me, it was). However, depending on where you went to school, art may have become optional in high school. Digital art was probably either optional or not offered at the district I was part of.

Upon graduating high school, though, I learned Adobe Photoshop. I had fun with it. After a couple years, I will admit it spoiled me a bit. It also made traditional art harder. If I made a mistake in Photoshop, I would use one of the tools and not have to erase it and redraw it. It was the opposite for traditional media.

Now here are the differences between traditional and digital (besides the obvious):

Traditional:

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Above is an oil painting I did of a beach near my home. Traditional art is messier, requires clean-up, and mixing colors. You have to have what’s handy. The sky is not the limit. On the Brightside, it’s cheaper, doesn’t require technology or computer skills, and you can make textures more easily. Plus, holding that brush (or any other tool) and mixing your pigments feels good.

Digital

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Above is a file I did in Photoshop. Digital art requires no carrying of materials, clean-up, and an infinite amount of colors. It’s also easier to fix mistakes by undoing, transporting, and much more. You do need computer skills, though. And programs, like Photoshop, can be expensive.

I would highly recommend learning traditional art first, if you haven’t since school. A lot of these techniques do apply to digital art. It’s also good to balance them out.

Of course, not all skills can be perfectly balanced (I often was either a PC or Mac person, but never really both evenly, until now), and art is no exception. But if you can balance traditional and digital art, it will be better.

If you only like traditional media, that’s cool, too.

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The Stuck Abstract Artist… No More

This is my first art post. Not only do I love to write, but I also enjoy creating artwork. I have my whole life.

I could go on and on about my art life and milestones. However, that is not what this post is about. It is about creating abstract and I method I discovered. That is picking a theme and distorting the shapes of that theme to not make it obvious. For example, one theme I’d chosen was “Cinderella.” If you look at the image below very carefully, you can see the shape of Cinderella in her ball gown.

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Cinderella is the one with the little, gray, navy, and magenta shapes and then the big navy dome below.

Another example is “Aladdin”. If you look at the pink and brown circle with the periwinkle streak on your right, that is a distorted shape of Jasmine (I used the Disney film as the theme).

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I’ve done more than Disney themes, as well. Others include Outer Space and African Jungle Safari (unrelated to “The Lion King”).

If you like to work on abstract art, and you ever get stuck, this is a great technique. If you are making money off of it or using it for school, be sure to avoid making the shapes too literal, unless your theme was not based off something copyrighted.

I used these paintings in my senior thesis at college. I did not reveal that I used subject themes to others that had helped me get through the process.

Nevertheless, I would highly recommend trying this method to anyone who has a passion for creating artwork.