This is called “Isla”

This was a picture I decided to do, it was always going to be a challenge because I decided it was going to be large.

I was a good photo but I wanted to simplify it as much as possible by converting it in Illustrator to a vectorised image. I wanted as little detail as possible so that you had to view the picture from a distance to appreciate it. Perhaps not the most practical of ideas as it needed a large amount of space to display it the way I wanted but I felt that it needed to be done.

I  spent a long time working on the image in Illustrator. I used the ‘Live Trace’ options on the image for a long time trying to get it to as close to the image I had imagined. Then once I had got to as close to perfect I then had to get out the direct selection tool and edit every anchor point and bezier curve. I deleted a lot of the anchor points to smooth out the image to achieve the look I was aiming for.

Once I was finished in Illustrator I then had to transfer the image to the canvas. I printed out the image on A4 paper in a 3×3 poster configuration and covered it with masking film. I was planning to use the masking film directly on the canvas but it wouldn’t stick to it well enough to stop overspray from my airbrush. So I cut out the masks and used them as stiff masks and held them down with nuts and bolts to keep them in place while I sprayed.

A major issue I had was mixing the paints, I used standard acrylics watered down to spray well through the airbrush, but the problem was mixing the right colours. I made a few of the colours a bit too dark but with them being acrylics I could spray over them with the correct colour.