Choosing the Hard Way…

While I wasn’t sure exactly where I was going with this in the beginning, I quickly figured out that this endeavour was going to take a long time. This project took me ages to complete.

Self portrait in Photoshop
Self portrait in Photoshop
Self portrait in Illustrator
Self portrait in Illustrator

What started out as a simple, “I’m going to do a self portrait in Photoshop“, turned into “I’m going to do a self portrait in Photoshop using a similar technique of paint by numbers with the eye dropper and paint brush tool and see what happens. But let’s make it even more ‘interesting’ and do the exact same thing in Illustrator to see the difference of the tools.



Self portrait in Photoshop

This was the first of the two images I did. I zoomed in about 200-400%, chose the colour I wanted to paint each swatch of the appropriate area then coloured in the space.

As I did each section, (the eyes, ears, nose, etc.) I started to see how realistic the portrait was coming out and I was thrilled because I’ve never done anything so realistic before. However, while I still chose the colours from the original photo, for the eyes, eyebrows, and hair, I took some creative leeway on how I wanted them to look.

Overall it has a artistic graphic style that I really like. I like that the portrait isn’t trying to be realistic, but just giving a nod to realism.



Self portrait in Illustrator

Once I figured out that the Illustrator brush tool is far less intuitive and more frustrating to use than Photoshop’s brush tool, I choose the brush style and continued on my way.

With the finished Photoshop version in my back pocket, I decided to forgo any artistic leniency and paint this one purely paint by number style zooming in 400-800%. Halfway through, I thought to myself that there is a button in Illustrator that I could click that would do the same thing in minutes…but I forged on.

Although I am extremely happy with my efforts and the outcome, I would not do it this way again. Way too many hours spent, and it started to become more of a chore than anything else to finish.

In the end my favourite is the Photoshop version because it is more artistic. Ultimately if I want a realistic portrait of myself I will just use a camera…

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