posting one of my old work (2005)
Self Portrait from life..spent around 10 hours using pen tool and mouse…tried many layers of shapes with different opacity..keeping the basics of transparent water colors in mind.
See the step by step process below.
1 . Started without drawing..actually i was experimenting..wasn’t sure what I’m going to do
first of all the ‘base’..
2. Unfortunately i did’t save many steps.. so, after adding some more shapes and details..
3. More details. Instead of making any shape dark or light, I tweaked that particular shape’s opacity or added one more shape on top of it to make it darker or lighter. Since the light source was from behind (kind of) i tried to show the subsurface scattering/ translucency using orange toned shapes around ear and neck…hope that’s visible.
4. Making those ugly sharp edges softer using shapes with more opacity…. added a green colored shape with less opacity to get rid of those sharp eyebrows and hairline…added mid toned shapes at few places to minimize the contrast.
5. Here you can see that how many shapes i’ve used..its not as complicated as it looks…there are many cool features in adobe illustrator, for those who didn’t use vector before….you can adjust any shape at any time using nodes, lock and unlock it, group it, hide it etc. we can use many layers while working in illustrator, but I didn’t use much layers because I wanted to tweak many shapes at the same time and it could be more complicated for me..I can’t really work with many layers :X
6. Final image.
Here are some bigger images if anyone interested - Self Portrait in Vector
I Hope the process was helpful for the viewers