Digital Illustrations

Creating portraits of loved ones

Overhead shot of Ali's ipad and her work in progress

About this side project

I have soft spot for portraits

Where it began

When I finished school, going to art class was something I terribly missed. Having a teacher walk around and give you tips as you awkwardly draw humans? Loved that environment. I don't know why.

So I signed up for a local portrait class. I learned how to draw with pencil and paper. Different grades of pencils? Collected them. Blending stumps? Loved them. Kneaded erasers? I needed them.

That course got me to draw lots of different people. Here's my favorite portrait of my Lola – grandmother in Tagalog.
Graphite drawing of Ali's grandmother

Nowadays, I use my iPad Pro

I hesitated to get an iPad for 2 years. I was that girl that hung out at the Apple store, trying out Procreate. I was convinced that it wasn't a necessity, even though my creative heart ached for it so badly. Everyone knew that I wanted an iPad. Friends got me gift cards and I saved money.

At last I got one during Black Friday 2019.

Selected work

The gallery so far

Digital illustration of toddler
Digital illustration for defend press freedom
Digital illustration of Pope Francis and filipinas
Digital self-potrait

What I learned from this project

Proportions of the face

The portrait class helped me notice how symmetrical faces are. Not only visually, but also by the way they are built. It's a miracle that eyes are proportional to your lips, etc. The human face is always perfectly designed.

Color theory

Colouring skin tones and matching them with appropriate background colours forced me to review colour theory. I had to think about how to make skin tones using warm, olive, or cold colours. I'm still trying to practice how to see undertones in colours, but this project helps!

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