If you have an interest in art, you must have noticed the recent trend of presenting portraits in a different look. This look is characterized by faces that seem to have low details and the area covered by the face divided into differently shaped polygons. This art form is not restricted to portraits alone as you can find it applied to landscapes and all sorts of other objects also. These low poly art portraits remind you of early times in computer modeling and to some they are retro art pieces. Call it by whatever name you like but low poly art portraits have taken the world of posters, art, animation etc by a storm these days.

The use of low poly art is a conscious effort of the artists to create a different look of the same portrait that presents an abstract model rather than a crystal clear and very sharp photo of a person. However, this does not mean that all low poly art portraits are low resolution. There are many modern techniques of lighting, shadowing, rendering etc that can help you to create pieces of art rather than a simple poly art portrait. You can really create amazing designs using photoshop and illustrator brushes and other tools available for you.

Why has Low Poly Art Become so Popular in Modern Times?

The stunningly clear and sharp photos and their impersonal and cool nature has been the reason why people have taken such a keen interest in low poly art portraits. It is more of a reaction to the larger than life and highly polished photos of today as artists of today are not satisfied with the perfection achieved using computers and digital cameras. They are interested in capturing the essence of the portrait rather than making it as close as possible to reality. Designers want to create something unique and artistic rather than depending upon the cameras and computers to come up with a near perfect portrait. Low poly art portraits give expression to their inner artistic urge and to allow them to turn ordinary portraits into something unique and creative. These art pieces allow designers to get away from harsh reality and give a personal touch to a portrait. You can follow tips and practices to improve portraits in photoshop.

Creating Low-poly Art Portraits with Adobe Photoshop

You can create fantastic low poly art portraits using a 3D modeling program. However, if you do not have knowledge or training to work easily with a 3D modeling program, you can still create wonderful low poly art portraits with the help of 2D programs like Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator. The name low poly is indicative of the fact that you can create mesmerizing art pieces using lesser number of polygons. This means that you have lesser data to contend with while creating a low poly art portrait.

You can be an artist to create a low poly art portrait without having any formally training. This is because you have the liberty and opportunity to create artwork using Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator. You can check out 30 creative illustration tutorials.

A simple guide to make a low poly art portrait with adobe illustrator

Creating Low-poly Art Portraits with Adobe Illustrator

Make a new document in Adobe Illustrator. You will need to make 4 layers with the one named Draw at the top. This is the layer where you will make illustrations. Below this is the layer called Sketch. Then there is the layer called Photo where the photo or the portrait is placed. The bottommost layer is called Background. Lock the layers called Photo and Background. Taking the photo as our guide, you need to draw the sketch in the layer called Sketch using the brush tool. Keep the lines straight and simplify the details. With the basic sketch ready, you can delete the layer called Photo. The sketch you have made will guide you to the final low poly art portrait. Reduce the opacity of your sketch to about 30% and lock it. Now take a pen and start tracing over this sketch. For the shirt or T-shirt, just trace one half and copy and paste to complete the other half. Flip the path using reflect tool. Draw the neck of the shirt with polygon tool and place it at the base of the neck in the photo. Repeat this process with the other shapes also. Using the pen tool, you can give more details to the shapes you have made. Press D to see the final arrangement once the shapes are ready. Check out amazing illustration art by Vos.

Time to Focus upon Face

Now pay attention to the face. Start with the lips with a hexagon and modify it to give the shape of lips. Octagon is a better geometric shape to draw the eyes. It is also good to draw the shape of the nose. You can even make glasses with the help of an octagon. Now is the time to give color effect to the portrait. Making use of blend tool, insert colors for highlights and shaded areas. To make a blend of two colors, click on the light color and then click on the dark color. The color you get is a smooth blend between the two shades you have chosen. You must have your color palette ready for different parts of the portrait such as hair, eyes, and the face. When you have the colors ready, all you have to do is to click on color and hold Alt. Click on the part of the portrait on which to apply the color and you are done. If the face is of a man and it has moustaches and beard, you have to make use of rectangle tool to complete the area of the beard and then repeat in the area of moustache also.


Editor Note: For more design and art inspiration you can bookmark designermag.org to your design inspiration list of websites and resources.