Sculpting the perfect portrait
Digital artist Te Hu shows you how to mix digital watercolours to uncover the portrait in an open canvas of abstract shapes and colours
Watercolour as a traditional media offers artists a particularly expressive power. With practice and dedication, it’s possible to mix colour and water in such a way as to create fantastic, translucent works. In the digital realm, Painter 11 is rightly popular for its watercolour-based tools that do a great job of simulating these advantages of real-life paint. Thanks to the digital canvas, we can also be more experimental when mixing materials and textures, which are easy to adjust as we go. Art, to me, is an ongoing process of adventure and exploration. I don’t like to line-draw sketches first and then paint over them. I think painting should be fun from start to finish. I’ll often just let my emotions guide the flow of colours and attempt to find interesting shapes and patterns along the way to create something more defined. I tend to liken it to sculpture, where it’s possible to take a piece of clay or marble and find the masterpiece inside.
In this workshop, I’m going to show you how I use digital watercolour tools to extract a subject from abstract shapes and colours and eventually end up with a fully developed portrait. Using some of the methods and techniques you’ll see in the following pages, you too will be ready to experiment with the basic tools in Painter and ArtRage to craft creatures, portraits, and even entire scenes.