When creating a digital art portrait there are a few things that you should keep in mind. Don’t forget to utilize the drawing software you use to its full potential, it’s easy to forget about them when switching over from traditional art. Use good reference pictures, with strong dynamic lighting and a good angle.
Don’t forget to use the tools offered by a digital portrait painting app
Digital art portraits, as the name suggests are drawings made in a not-so-traditional manner, most of the time by using a graphic tablet. Painting this way gives the artist more freedom, with various tools that are available only here, so don’t forget to use them! A few examples of these would be changing colors on the fly, separating elements into different layers.
You can edit your masterpiece in ways that are only possible in digital drawing programs, such as transforming different parts of the drawing individually, distorting parts, adding filters to make it pop. And last but not least probably the most used feature in digital art is the undo button, which allows you to be bold since you don’t have to be afraid of making mistakes. You can go back hundreds of steps just by pressing a simple key combination. This saved me more times than I can count.
Everybody likes nice drawings, a well-made digital art portrait is simply mesmerizing, fun to look at, and stands out. No wonder they are so popular. There are more and more of them, they have an increased demand, which is being filled with an increasing number of digital self portrait makers.
These however offer inferior results compared to a custom digital portrait. You can choose from a set of general traits that you have in common, so the end result is the best case kinda looks like you. Not the advised way to make a self portrait digital.
Use good references, that highlight the structure of the face
Lighting is key!
When creating a digital art portrait you should stay away from bad references. The artist will struggle if his source of inspiration is bad, and it will surely impact the end result as well.
Things that make a good reference have a strong sharp light on the subject. This brings out the shapes of the face, while large diffuse lighting hides them. An example of diffused light would be a cloudy day when the clouds absorb and scatter the light of the sun evenly.
Structure and form are really important, arguably the most important thing, and strong dynamic lighting, in combination with a good angle will bring it out the most.
With flat lighting you end up mostly drawing from your imagination since the structure of the face is not visible, there is not enough information to go on. To be able to draw well from imagination you need years and years of practice, so until you have a deep understanding of the shapes that make up the human face it’sa much better practice to leave less to your imagination and draw using what you see.
Use clear, high-resolution images
Using a high-resolution image is a no-brainer, you can clearly see the face and all its beautiful features that make it one of a kind. While using a low-resolution image all you get is a pixelated blurry mess that doesn’t give you much to go on, just the general shapes.
You will have a much easier time working on a clear image than on one that is blurred and messy, and in addition to the process taking longer, the results will be undoubtedly worse as well.
Don’t hide your face!
Using an image with sunglasses, or objects that hide the face is ill-advised. Your face is one of the few things on this planet that is one of a kind (except if you have a twin), don’t hide it the less face you show, de less personal the artwork will be.
The best custom digital portraits are made using pictures where the face is clearly visible, not obscured by anything, or cropped out of the image.
Don’t overdo the finishing touches
Using a filter, or effect can enhance the final result but avoid overdoing it. Too much of anything can be bad for you, this is true for effects that you use with the intent to make the digital art portrait pop, but instead of complementing your art, they will make your work more obscure.
Digital art portrait illustrators, the superior choice
All in all, creating a digital art portrait is an involved process that requires years of practice, patience, and understanding of the shapes, forms, and the anatomy of the human face. That is if you want to create one that is outstanding and is not an atrocity.
Of course, there are many digital self portrait makers available, but these use premade templates serving to create these so-called custom digital portraits. In my opinion, these digital art portrait apps lack all the traits that make an exceptional digital art portrait, they lack uniqueness, once you saw a few of them you saw them all.
And there is a lot of cartoon portrait digital art makers going around, not because they are superior, but because they don’t require any skill to use. They are not outstanding and don’t grab the attention of their viewer, they lack the breath that makes them come to life, which only an artist can give.
The easiest way to avoid all these mistakes and get a professionally made digital portrait is to contact someone who offers their illustrating services, get it made by someone who already knows about these things, and will draw a beautiful piece of digital art for you
Turn your team pictures into wonderful cartoon avatars.