Artist Bram Vanhaeren has recently created a series of portraits commemorating sports legends, such as Muhammad Ali and Serena Williams. The pieces were created using the pencil tool on Adobe Illustrator. The effect achieved is a very detailed portrait of each sports person, the majority of sportsmen featured in motion shots. Vanhaeren uses mainly dark shades and tones, with glimmers of bright purple, red or orange to create a beautiful contrast. The detail and use of light illuminates the sports people, demonstrating their power and special place in history.
One of the largest debates surrounding digital art is whether it should be used in order to create traditional ‘portraits’ through digital means, through software like Adobe Illustrator, or whether it should concentrate on adding new dimensions and possibilities to the world of art. In the midst of this debate, Vanhaeren’s portraits show a perfect balance between traditional art and the digital world; his pieces do not aspire to be non-digital pieces, they do not attempt to give the impression of a watercolour or charcoal sketch. What they do is show the potential of digital art tools in the creation of beautiful art pieces, without having to be abstract, but without pretending to be canvas work either. The pieces are proud, digital works, which always require real expertise and talent to produce.
Vanhaeren’s official website: http://bramvanhaeren.com/
Interview with Vanhaeren on Digital Arts Online website: http://www.digitalartsonline.co.uk/news/illustration/bram-vanhaeren-illustrates-his-heroes-in-new-digital-portrait-series/
(Credit for photos: Portraits of Lance Armstrong, Muhammad Ali and Serena Williams by Bram Vanhaeren at http://bramvanhaeren.com/portfolio/on-the-wall/)