Making of 'Self Portrait'
I think that every artist has done a self portrait at some point or other, as it is the closest thing you have for reference: yourself. It's a challenge and it shows in the end how you, the artist, see yourself. I've done just a few self portraits in the past; mostly I work freelance on character concepts and illustrations which leave me with little time for myself, but when I do get some spare time I like to experiment and make a challenge for myself by doing something better than the last time. Being a big Android fan, I decided to look at his works a bit more to try and understand where he started, how he created his pictures, and what the steps were...
First of all, I must say that this piece was not intended as an accurate self portrait, but rather as an experiment of new techniques learned from Andrew Jones. OK, so let's get started...
This is something new for me, by which I mean that the portrait is not really my style. I don't believe that I have a particular style, though, but I do like to experiment from time to time in order to find new ways, techniques and new tricks. This portrait was created after I studied the way Android creates his digital artworks, and decided not to copy, but to understand how he made them whilst creating something of my own. I decided to create a portrait, but wanted to make it more entertaining, so I began with a not-very-accurate self portrait...
On a new layer, I blocked in the shape of the head and face with random lines. Well, actually, there were not so random as I tried to keep a centre of interest. Following that, I lowered the opacity a little (Fig.01).
On another new layer, I drew the basic contour of the face and head and added some small details, like the crazy hair and some shadows. I named this layer, "drawing" (Fig.02 - 03).
Yet another layer was created, under the first two, where I start spreading around random custom brushes. I experimented some more and, when I thought it was enough, I created another layer, set it to Overlay, and began the colour process by filling the layer with a saturated blue. Then, with a soft eraser, I deleted some parts of the blue layer so that some of the red layer nicely blended with the blue one (Fig.04 - 06).
Next, I repeated the process but set the layers to different states (Vivid Light, Screen, etc.), and continued deleting some parts of the layers on the top until I was happy with the result.
I then Google searched for some newspaper textures and applied them using the same method. At the end, I created a Normal layer on top, added the final details, and made some Level adjustments. And then I was all done (Fig.07 - 09).
And that's it! As you can see, the process is really simple but also gives the artist a lot of freedom to experiment. It is not a piece where you can visualise it from the start, but rather you start and then become more creative on the fly!