Digital (Vector) Custom Portrait: Sample Portrait Of James Dean

I created this portrait to showcase my work and give a good example of the kind of digital portrait I can create from a black-and-white photo. (I also did it because James Dean has a fascinating, haunting face, and I knew I would enjoy capturing that.)

Please note that even though this is an old photograph, it's clear and fairly detailed. I require this kind of detail and clarity to do good work.

As with all my digital (sometimes called vector) portraits, I began by reducing the image to areas of light and dark. From that beginning, I use a digital tablet to outline the areas of light and dark and give them a hard, geometric edge, creating abstract designs within the portrait. When I have a likeness and a feeling I'm happy with, I put the layers together and begin adding color. The color is naturalistic, of course, but I often change the color of the clothing and background depending on the feeling I'm going for in the portrait. I like to allow a week to get a portrait like this done, though if it goes well I can do it in 2-3 days.

Your finished portrait-to-order will be 13"x19", printed on heavy stock with archival inks for rich color, detail and long life. It's shipped rolled in a heavy-duty tube and is ready to take to the framer's.

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Made in Lincoln, NE

By Douglas Simonson

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