digital painting

by - Saturday, February 06, 2016

As well as photography, I have always had an interest in art. Digital painting is a complex form which I personally have tried to become skilled at, for a couple of years. Within a personal study, I focused on this medium to try and expand my art graphics skills and test myself. 

For the study, I used Ivan Alifan as inspiration. "Using ambiguity as a tool, demands the viewers exploration of their psyches and provokes self awareness." The way in which Alifan describes his immensely detailed oil paintings, elevate them to being more than just a portrait. Focusing on texture forms a great amount of depth and interest in his art. 

Within the personal study, I aspired to fully analyse the painting processes and techniques of Ivan Alifan. From incentive preparation of a painting surface to the endmost application of paint. I discussed the effects of diverse marks and brushstrokes, to be enlightened on how to convey texture and ultra realism. Finally I explored how these painting processes and techniques could be used within my own paintings. 

Ivan Alifan, is a Russian bred painter, born in Aust 1989. Studying at OCADU University enabled him to paint overseas in Florence, Italy. In effect his work was presented in the Florence University campus guide. From there the paintings became part of an exhibition, 'New Blood' at The Unit Gallery London, which displayed work from international artists. The aim of his style is to explore the modern gaze and decriminalize sex from art. By trying to evoke nervousness within his art, it, to him, shows our true identity. With peers being a main influence, he uses them as models within his work.  

From analysing Alifan's painting style, I created a list of success criteria;

  • Texture is used to provoke nervous feelings.
  • Subtle tones are used to enhance darker areas of photograph and adds a soft and smooth effect.
  • Texture on the model is the main focus.
  • Imagery looks more intense and compelling if the model has a realistic expression (moody works well).
  • Adding small amounts of texture creates an ultra realistic outcome.
  • Alifan avoids adding too much texture, so that the piece still looks like an oil painting.
  • Colour of the texture added to the model stand out from the skin tone, whether that be through temperature or tone. 
  • The skin is made to appear quite smooth, to enhance the uneven surfaces within the texture.



I then took photography, focusing on texture similar to Alifan. Rather than using white substances, I wanted to highlight ethnicity slightly. Therefore I used an Indian model and poured foundation over her, which was in a lighter shade. The final illustrations which I produced are open to personal semiotics and interpretations, however my personal interpretation behind these pieces were that the Indian female wanted to become white with the pressure of modern society; where many ethnic females bleach their skin to 'fit in'.

The first artwork related to the focus of the study by how I focused on the painting techniques, and ensured the texture was the main focus. For this piece I used a soft edged brush with an opacity ranging from 20-40%. My skill range developed greatly as I know now how to create each facial feature realistically as well as adding small amounts of texture to ensure this. 




The second artwork also related to the focus of the study by how I focused on the painting techniques, and ensured the texture was the main focus. Although for this piece I used selective colour to add more subtle tones of cyan and magenta. As I understood each feature better and how to paint it realistically, I believe the second piece turned out better.




As digital painting is difficult to show within stages of development, I created a short video screen recorded piece, this finished the personal study.







-dedicated to poot/anniej x

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