Inspirational Art

Drawing human faces is probably the hardest thing you can choose to do with an illustration program, especially if you are trying to make it realistic. Because we read so much in into the slightest change of facial expression, it's much, much more difficult to get a face looking right than almost any technical 'hard' illustration.

So this month we have three pieces of inspirational art created with Xara Xtreme. They show off not just the capabilities of the software, but demonstrate again the skills of some of the many really talented artists and designers that choose to use Xara.

This image is created by Eugene Spearance and is as perfect example of the power of feathering and transparency. This is a part of the image zoomed in and shown in outline.

So the shading technique is very simple in principle. By overlaying shapes using feathered edges and transparency it's very simple to produce perfect and very subtle blends of colour, from any shape to any shape. This is far quicker and easier than using the 'mesh fill' type of approach some other graphics packages use. And it's a lot easier to edit the shading afterwards.

Of course the technique might be simple, but only with a very keen eye for shading are you likely to come up with results that look this good.

This example from Valery Kouleshov, known as Coolshow or RUSS-USSR on the Xara forums. Here's a thread about this particular image from Valery including outline versions and a break down of how the head's made.

This is a brand new example, just posted on the Xara gallery, created by 'LogoKid' is a slightly more stylized version. Looks great though.

And a bonus image, that many Xara users will have seen before, but it should be part of this faces gallery. It takes a very painterly approach to the human face, in the style of an old master painting.