I created this portrait of Barack Obama to help me teach
a lesson on Creating Vector Portraits.
(Vector- a computer generated graphic art that can be enlarged or reduced to any size
without losing clarity.)
As with any good illustration, especially when creating vector illustrations, a sketch is required to plan out the shapes of the dark and medium tone. I scan in the sketches and begin to trace the shapes in Illustrator. After a few refinements to the shapes, I can begin to experiment with color and textures. The greatest advantage to computer generated art is how easy it is to make color changes as well as the easy ability to save multiple variations of the same drawing. It gets to be addictive trying to come up with better and better color designs!
While I didn't intend to mimic Shepard Fairey's famous portrait of Barack Obama, it's hard not to see his influential style within my rendition of Obama. His designs, used with silkscreen and stencils with spray paint, works very well with using the vector illustration technique. I always advise students to look at as much good art as possible and try to replicate the look in order to build one's creative skills -- watching out of course for blatant plagiarism!