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How to Transform Portraits into Striking Digital Art


Portrait illustrations used to be kept as keepsakes and they still are but the only difference is that these illustrations are now being rendered digitally. Digital tools and software have made the process of creating and designing easier but the only taxing part is that it takes time to become well versed with using these tools. However, if your intention is to find a quick and easier method for creating portrait art then there is a great solution for it.

Portraits Illustration

If you happen to be a novice at digital illustration but you are cannot afford to choose a portrait illustration service then you should not worry as we are presenting you a method that merges the idea of traditional art and digital drawing together.

Trace it out

Tracing an image or a photograph for copying someone else’s work if wrong since that leads to plagiarism but if you are tracing it to turn a photograph into digital art then there is no harm in it. Either you can draw a portrait from scratch or you can take a photo, trace it and then fill in the details of your sketch accordingly.

Make sure that the photo you select does not have any dark undertones as it will ruin the visibility of your portrait. Secondly, the image needs to be taken in bright light to avoid overlooking important details. Once you have traced the image, the next step is to scan it in any of the design apps or software of your choice. You can render your portrait digitally by adding patterns, textures and make tweaks as you please.

Add objects to the canvas

It is entirely up to you if you want to add other elements to the drawing or not. However, before you begin, measure the canvas and image size. If you think blank space will be left out and it will not look visually pleasing then fill that space with design objects or items. Make sure whatever you add to the illustration is done in a balanced manner. Since disproportionate elements would ruin the overall appeal of your portrait. It could be a nice cup of coffee or a completely new background, choose what works for you and edit them together in a composed structure.

Merging Layers

If you are using an image that you have traced then you certainly would have to work with more than one layer. You can use an app for it or you could simply use design software such as Illustrator because the choice is yours. Most of these digital design tools and apps offer the option of multiple layering. Combine the layers you are working on together and then select any brush or pen to create the line art for your portrait. Try not to use a pen or brush with thick strobes as it makes the design layout difficult and complex to create.  

Get expressive

It is self-explanatory that the line art would not be perfect in the first try to remove any of the details you think were not done correctly and then redo it. Once you are content with the line art, the next step is to add texture to the illustration. You can choose either a pattern or a texture and merge it together with your traced line art. Complete tracing the rest of the image but keep your focus solely on the portrait, forget about the background for now. The expressions in your portrait matter the most in this step so try to give it a lively expression that the viewer can easily feel associated with.

Color in the details

The final step after filling in the details is to color the portrait illustration. Do not select a color-filling tool instead choose a brush and use it for coloring the drawing. It is essential to color the background first since it gives a sense of visibility to the illustration. After the background is completed, begin coloring the main subject of your illustration, which is the portrait. It is recommended to use multiple layers in this step too as it lets you fill color neatly. 


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