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The vector department

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Introduction
Vector images are the future because they're resolution independent, meaning that they can be re-scaled to any size without losing quality. Upto not too long ago it was impossible to create realistic images using a vector drawing program. The open source Inkscape and very affordable (50 USD in addition to which 3 free upgrades are granted) Affinity Designer changed this by introducing controllable blurred edges of vector shapes. It is a technique superior to the utterly meticulous mesh-fill tool that CorelDRAW and Adobe Illustrator offer. Affinity Designer allows much faster and far less tedious customizing of drawings at any point in the design process, which makes swift creating and editing of hyper realistic organic shapes very easy. This type of functionality is indispensable for the creation of realistic vector portraits and paintings. An other advantage Affinity Designer has over CorelDRAW and Illustrator is that it is a 100% parametric, meaning that any effect applied can be undone at any time. In addition it has limitless Undo functionality and a History option which gives the artist total control over his artwork.

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Visit the progress sequence of the Putin vector portrait

100% vector portrait of Vladimir Putin. I used hundreds of custom made vector brushes to render Mr. Putin's rather subtle facial traits. Some uncommon tinkering of the brushes' properties were necessary to accomplish the desired result. Subtleties quite often are more difficult to draw correctly than crisply wrinkled, weatherworn faces, because the balance between the elements is more delicate and therefore more critical.

A word about Putin for those that mindlessly believe Western media fake news: He raised wages of Russian workers between 400 and 500% since coming to power, lowered Russia's inflation from 12 to 2%, cut unemployment rates in half and is in the process of drastically re-arranging the financial system on a global scale in the BRICS alliance, in collaboration with China's Xi Jin Ping and also with Donald Trump behind (solid, impenetrable) scenes.

Link to progress sequence

Click to see the painting's progress sequence

My first 100% vector painting called: 'Crossing Death's Frontier'. The major point of focus in this work was to get the colour gradients right. The palette has very subtle colour transitions and toning options that had to be exactly right in order to look realistic. Fortunately Affinity Designer has many effects that help getting things done correctly, all of which are parametric, can be made (in)visible or be reset or removed if necessary. It is the very best program to create realistic organic shapes and I have tried all vector draw programs that are commercially available. The awesome free open source program Inkscape comes closest to what Affinity Designer can do, but it has a very difficult to master and tune user interface. After exporting the file, I noted that Affinity Photo's Tone Mapping persona was barely able to apply HDR-effect improvements, which means that the tuning options in Affinity Designer are absolutely brilliant once the artist has figured out how to subtly adjust the shape properties and filter effects.

Link to progress sequence

Click the image to see this vector portrait's progress sequence

My first 100% vector portrait of Abraham Lincoln. This actually was an experiment to find out how to create a realistic portrait with a vector draw program. The options were: edited shapes (gradients / transparencies) and / or customized brushes. It turned out both were necessary. Shapes with different gradients and gradient trasparency were often stacked onto each other and in some cases turned into a child object in a different shape that in turn was edited itself to accomplish the desired effect. I considered making a tutorial of a portrait, but it simply is too much work and takes too much time, so I may at one time make tutorials of the separate techniques I discovered and applied. If ever I get around to doing this, I will post them in the Affinity forum.

Link to progress sequence

Click the image to see this portrait's progress sequence

My second 100% vector portrait of Marlon Brando. Like Abe Lincoln's portrait this one was drawn in black and white after which colour layers were placed above those layers. It was the last portrait that was not created in full colour, since drawing in colour directly allows more accuracy, which is necessary to create subtle differences.

Link to progress sequence

Click the image to see its progress sequence

This is an other experiment that has not yet been completed yet. The image shows an intermediate state. I was trying to apply a woodcut effect to an image. I have a rather clear idea how to improve the technique, but had not had the time yet to put it to practice. It will be a lot more intricate and area specific.

Link to progress sequence


Check out my vector and pixel art on this site and do not hesitate to contact me if you have questions or require top quality work.

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