For my project I wanted to turn a picture of my friend wake boarding into a vector type portrait. I spent a lot of time on just his portrait and to me that was the easiest part because everything was kind of laid out for me for his face and body. All I had to do was trace over it with the pen tool. The hardest part for me was trying to figure out how to make the water look simple yet detailed. The vector artist that I chose (Mel Marcelo) was able to create a style that smoothed out all the details of a person and made them look like they were coming out of a comic book. It took me a long time and I redid the background like 6 different ways to try and find the right style for the water. I looked into the different brush strokes and found one that says splash which worked perfectly for the splashes in the water. I still have to work on the sky and the different gradients in it to make the sunrise more realistic. It's funny the part that seems to look so simple is actually the most difficult part because it takes so much trial and error to make it fit the right style of the portrait I made.
Monday, March 9, 2015
Mel Marcelo is a digital artist based in San Diego. He attended the University of California earning a BA in Visual Arts and has lived all over the U.S. and also the Philippines. He spends time between working on his fine art and working for different magazines and newspapers where he makes images like the ones above and below. He's had his work in Newsweek, Oakley and a number of other clients in the music and apparel industries. His style makes many of his pieces look like he turned actual portraits of people and made them look like they could be in a comic book. He uses vibrant colors and is able to contrast all of his lights and darks to make the figure in every image stand out in comparison with the background. Most of his work is done through Illustrator.
In the piece above he uses the absence of color in Jim Morrison combined with the bright background to make him stand out in the piece. It's like he is being brought forward to the viewer. The way that everything is cut off around him (his arms, stomach, and head) makes him the center of attention because he is touching every edge of the piece. Also, the way Marcelo uses the greys to highlight Morrison's muscle definition is done in a way that seems so simple that it's like he should be out of a comic book. Marcelo makes the viewer look deep into his pieces because when you first look at them you just think of the person that he has made. However, at second glance you notice that the entire piece is made mostly of 4 or 5 different shades that add a simplicity to the piece.
I really like this comic book effect that he is able to use. It reminds me a lot of Shepard Fairey's street art. He takes images of people that everyone knows and is able to manipulate them and make them into beautiful pieces of art. The simplicity of each piece is what I like the most. I know that a lot of work goes into each piece and it takes a serious amount of effort to make all of the layers come together so well that you don't even notice it. I plan on trying to make a portrait image that copies his style and focuses on the simplicity of characters. I studied a lot of Shepard Fairey pieces and pieces from Banksy as well and this style really intrigues me. I hope to make something that is both simplistic and meaningful to the viewer.