Digital Portraits


The Intermediate students have started tinkering with Autodesk SketchBook, exploring a variety of unique tools and techniques that will be used to create digital portraits.

They have been learning to blur, clone, crop, distort, and layer. They are most appreciative of the forgiving process. The tablet (an iPad in their case) becomes a magic piece of paper… making it easy to undo and/or erase digitally. Gone are the days of endless eraser use – which encourages many to take greater artistic risks. That said, some have been dabbling with stylus pens, while others prefer the use of their own fingers.


Students have discovered the key advantage of digital art: the use of layers. These allow the artist to create certain parts of their drawing separately. Furthermore, each layer can be modified individually, without affecting the others.

Using their newly acquired knowledge of layers, students have been searching up online images of influential people and creating an initial layer. Thereafter, they modify the opacity of the original image and use it as a background/guide. Their goal is to digitize the image. Although this may seem simple, it is far from it!


In order to tweak the image, students have been familiarizing themselves with the various “brush” options. Many have discovered that the thinner lines are more complex, as they require the artist to be more precise. Shading takes more time and effort, too.

Their initial artistic representations are quite impressive. In many cases, these digital paintings are allowing some students to show off an unknown artistic side.


We are looking forward to sharing some of their final products in the coming weeks.

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