Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Pixel Portrait - the real(?) starts to appear

There was a big step between this and the previous pixel-portraits. That difference is down to the use of blending and shading. Until now I have mostly painted using block colours (because I initially needed to determine the principal areas) and of course this colouring is not particularly realistic. Now that the face layout has been defined, I have been able to mix these colours – by varying the opacity of brushstrokes between colours, and then overlaying them – to give a gradient of tone to the skin. This then allowed me to begin utilising shading, which in turn gave depth to the features, and advanced the level of realism of the image.

Pixel-Painted Self-Portrait #6

As the portrait progresses, its development is slowing. The sessions now take the better part of a day, and the level of detail (now working with brushes as small as 2 or 3 pixels in diameter) means that the changes are increasingly subtle. When I started the project I had no completion date in mind, as I was aware that the process of this task was very much an unknown, and to aim for a realistic looking photograph made by painting pixels could take an incredibly long time.

Hence for the upcoming degree shows, I will present this project as a work in progress. I see this as a good thing, better in fact than if I were to present a final and resolved piece. If I can find a way to neatly exhibit the six successive pixel portraits in an online gallery (see below), then an audience can engage with the project's evolution. And then there is the potential to generate interest in the subsequent development and outcome of the project - an opportunity for the work to acquire a following and have life after these upcoming shows.

(adding shading to the eye area)

Self-Portrait with Mirror and Pixel Canvas (after Johannes Gumpp)

Johannes Gumpp Self Portrait with Mirror and Canvas

An effective presentation of the pixel portraits for now, is as a short slideshow, with a a slow cross dissolve between each image - which becomes especially effective towards the end when the transition is less noticeable. Enjoy.

1 comment:

  1. I've loads of videos and magazines about painting digitally if you want to borrow any.