When friends got married a while ago, I wanted to make something special. Gifts can be tough though. You don’t want to just add to the junk people stuff in their houses. You want to give them something meaningful that is a good fit not only now, but ideally even 10 years from now.
Usually I try to go for gifts that enable experiences, rather than something solely materialistic. However, I figured an illustrated portrait of the two lovebirds would be timeless.
I have been experimenting a bit with digital drawings lately. So instead of making a physical drawing, I wanted to do cleaner digital portraits. I went through the Facebook pictures of the bride and groom and selected two charming pictures as base for my work.
Drawing portraits by tracing pictures digitally does feel somewhat like cheating; like I’m not making ‘real art’. It does make portrait drawing a lot easier. Especially if you compare it to my normal way of working: look at the original image and try to make the drawing resemble it as close as possible.
On the other hand, the minimalistic style I used here does have its own challenges. Because you rely on a couple of lines only, you have to choose the absolute right ones. What shadow do you darken? What wrinkle do you ignore? Which features are defining and which ones are only distracting? I would say this is the most difficult part of making black and white drawings like this.
Of course there are photo filters that give you a somewhat similar result in terms of contrast. However, they don’t take into account all the subtleties of faces and the personality of a person. They would never give you a clean minimalistic image like the one above.
For fun I added (part of) the original pictures I worked from. The final drawings were printed, cut out & placed on fabric in a frame.
Have you tried a creative process before that made you feel like a bit of a cheater? Is feeling that way inevitable when you are trying new creative processes or not?