Gradient Mesh:Third times a charm

So a while back, I was asked by one of my cousins for a picture quite some time ago. I snapped a quick picture, and took a seat thinking of what I could do. Since this is intended for print to be sold to her, I wanted to do something out of the ordinary compared to the other portraits I’ve done. I pen tooled the picture for a while, but really hated how it was looking. So in frustration, I stopped for about a week or two. It wasn’t until later on that I hated where I was going with it, and just said “forget this, I’m doing gradient mesh.” So I chugged through slowly and this is what I got.

Final Result:


I incorporated a lot of new approaches with the Mesh tool this time, while keeping some things that I learned. I stuck with the foundations of using the shapes (Rectangle + Ellipse tools) in Illustrator, but this time, I went ahead and went ahead and made better use of the eye-dropper tool by actually changing the settings. I also went ahead and made good use of the transparency/opacity settings to blend parts in with each other.

There are two notable parts of the picture that people nitpick about. The first is usually, “Look at those teeth.”
The teeth are quite white for a few reasons. First being, the original picture was quite blurry making the sampling of colors already off. Next, the lighting was already off. I did as much as I could in Camera Raw (Which wasn’t much to be honest). So if I grabbed colors off the picture, it would make her teeth look rotten.
Another unfortunate part of the picture would be the hair. I had a hard time and gradient meshing the hair wasn’t an option. So I ended up pen tooling it and blurring/smudging it.

Overall, I wish I could do better on the two aforementioned parts, but I’m happy with the rest of it. And she likes it too which is what matters the most.


~ by Christian Lim on June 9, 2010.

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