• Haitao Su creates a portrait of a friend and wins a Master Award in EXPOSÉ 8.

    CGSociety :: Walkthrough
    29 June 2010, by Haitao Su

    This is a caricature of a German friend. This piece will be printed in the high quality Ballistic Publishing annual EXPOSE 8. This has been my first time creating a caricature with the computer. Before this, my caricatures were finished by hand alone.

    Haitao's work is reminiscent of Jan Op De Beeck’s caricature style. The Belgian artist has the ultimate exaggerated feature style and Su is his ultimate fan!

    I hope to squeeze as much personality into my characters. This work will be seen by the public, in magazines and books, so the final result needs to be acceptable. I don’t want to rely too much on computers or Photoshop filters. So I finished the exaggerated caricature when I was starting out hand sketching the piece, then only later in the coloring period, I tried to create the most real facial features with highlights and shadows using Photoshop’s Brush effects.
    1) Small Sketch of Front View.
    2) True Sketch of Half Side View.
    3) True Sketch of Front View.
    I started out with a 8cm x 10cm sketch. Usually I’d usually draw three or five sketches from different angles, but I only had three photos for reference of this work. I have to create it relying on these limited references.

    I spend 10 to 15 minutes creating this kind of small sketches, the purpose of which is drawing the impression of the person who is painted. I determine the extent of exaggeration and the drawing angle for the true sketch. I've used the usual formula of pear-face transfiguration.

    I prefer to draw the outline with a thicker 2.0mm ochre pencil, and then draw the facial details and shadow with 0.5mm blue propelling pencil.

    This true sketch is from the former small sketch of front view. Though I like the half side angle, but the person who is painted hopes to show the robot T-800 which is in his favorite movie The Terminator in the final image. So I chose the sketch of front view at the end.

    Main painting
    I started from creating a small A4 file with the resolution of 100dpi. The good is that you can not only color the canvas quickly, the most important is you can focus your energy on the shapes and color relations, avoiding wasting too much time on details.

    1) Place the former true sketch of front view in the new file, and create a new layer above it. Set the layer mode to multiply, and fill in the chosen blue.
    2) After the overall coloring is finished, I began to paint some facial layers by Photoshop’s own chalk brush, in 20 to 50 percent opacity, including the beards around the chin, etc.
    3) I've adjusted the canvas size to 350dpi. Now we will begin to create the details of facial features. The purpose of this process is trying to paint the facial features with the most sense of reality as possible. I alternately used hard round brush, chalk brush, and smudge tool to finish the last process.
    Color it roughly with chalk brush.
    Airbrush the parts that need a soft gradient with soft round brush.
    Paint the clearer edge with smudge tool. I like using smudge tool, because it can imitate the brush effect of oil painting.
    The chalk brush can paint the granular sensation of the skin touches, and it is effective in imitating the tactile sensation of beards.
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  • Effects and final adjustments
    I created a new layer below the finished image, adding black. Then I erased some parts on the image layer with eraser tool, added some machine elements of T-800 and a red glow to form the other image version, just for fun.
    Final image
    Original version
    T-800 version

    About the artist
    Haitao Su is a character designer, cartoonist and illustrator whom has worked both freelance and in-house for a variety of studios. His clients include companies on long term contracts and individuals from around the world, as well as the major fine arts press of China.

    He created the character 'Doudou', which became the official mascot of the 1996 Asian Winter Games. Between 2001 and 2005, he founded the first specialized illustration and comic magazine 'Fantasy' in China, which promotes the development of CG illustrations, bande dessinée and comics art in China.

    Now Haitao lives and works in Harbin in northern China, leading his studio to be engaged in the character concept design project for clients from around the world. To find out more about his works, go to SuHaitao.com.

    Related links:
    SuHaitao CGPortfolio
    SuHaitao site
    EXPOSE 8
    Jan Op De Beeck

    Discuss this article on CGTalk

    I like all the interesting things that can bring me a lot of inspiration. Well, I also like beautiful girls and princesses, so you can see many sexy beauties and the blondes with guns in my art album. If you like these works, you can log onto my Homepage or my Blog , where there are some of my latest works and sketches. You can download a pdf file of my profile here.
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