Vector portraits

Over the holidays, we were asked to work on our final vector portraits. Luckily, we were able to work with any image of our choosing; that image taken at the beginning of class was not my finest moment.

I used an image from a photo shoot from May, taken during my Photography of People class at George Brown. That week, we were able to bring in our own model or have a portrait done; I opted for the latter since it was unlikely I’d have access to a beauty dish again in the near future. I was lucky enough to have Stephanie Cliche (our photography teaching assistant and a fantastic photographer in her own right) to shoot and direct me.

This project was interesting and provided some challenges I hadn’t been expecting. Deciding exactly where to place the highlights and shadows on the face in order to create the structure of the face was tricky. Having only 3 tones to work from for the skin, I had to reinvent some of the shadows around the nose and mouth in order to provide the definition I was looking for.

The most difficult parts of the project for me were all parts that were covered covered in hair. I selected art brushes for the hair details, highlights and shadows, which created an interesting shaggy texture, but controlling the colours of the brush strokes was confusing. Since art brushes rely on a colourization method of tints and tones of grey to apply the colour, I found that it often yielded unpredictable results.

Next up were the eyelashes and brows; I tried to use the art brushes in a similar fashion to create texture in these areas with varying degrees of success.

For the recoloured portrait above, I wanted to achieve an Andy Warhol-esque effect, but again encountered unpredictable results. The colour harmonies offered were initially very drab, so after some experimentation, I first changed the vector portrait above to a one-colour image (resulting in a coral-coloured portrait), then used the colour harmonies to arrive at the final result, a triad colour harmony. Since this was not really the effect I was going for, I won’t say that it represents my personality exactly.

A vector portrait using a triad colour harmony.
Another vector portrait based on a photo by Stephanie Cliche.