Drawing portraits is an essential part of an artist’s development and education. Art Instructors use portraiture as the basis for practicing workflow, perspective, spacing, and the understanding of basic shapes. My fundamental growth as an artist occurred during my first two years in college when I drew from a live model 6 hours a day.
Working as the lead artist at Alchemie, I’ve had to study business visuals to incorporate effective representations for the marketing and branding of the company. It can be a difficult task for an artist to put heart and soul into corporate artwork, but once complete, has proven to be quite a rewarding challenge and a valuable learning experience.
Our most recent presentation, a pitch for the Gates Foundation funded XR Education Challenge in LA, afforded me the opportunity to create new team illustrations, which utilized both my portraiture and corporate art experience. I had to balance overall look and feel of the presentation, which follows a minimalist and clean design, while doing my best not to offend anyone. A face is the mirror to the mind and many people perceive themselves differently than how someone on the outside may observe them. Caricature and portraiture artists have the same fear that what they note as distinguishable features may not match how the subject views themselves.
Initially, I tried a simple pixelated look, with this method I used implied shapes to suggest an individual’s likeness rather than dive right into specific defining features. After comparing the results a pixelated portrait with the images from the presentation we decided the two styles conflicted.
Below is the first initial pixelate design, created in 3D, of our CTO, Joe. I was ambitious and wanted to tackle an isometric pixel portrait that would also be a gif.
Instead, I decided to combine the flat and minimalist teacher and student styles from early in the presentation with slightly more details and basic shapes to create our team’s portraits. This was a bit of a challenge (but also a lot of fun!) as I needed to add enough detail in the right places to show each individual’s likeness while not going overboard and throwing off the simplified design.
The final version of our Alchemie team shows off the personal style of each individual, while enhancing the flow of the overall presentation.