Today our guest is Adel Dani, a talented vector artist from Romania. Adele works in photorealism style. He creates all his works only with the Gradient Mesh. You can read about him and some of the secrets of his skills in this interview. Here you can also find a gallery of his best vector works.
When hovering the cursor over an image you can see the gradient mesh in Outline mode.
Hello Adele! I'm glad that met such a brilliant artist. Tell us briefly about yourself.
Hello Iaroslav! I was born and raised in Romania in the town of Iasi, eventually moved to the town of Constanta. At an early age I was teaching myself to draw, because I wanted to reach the level of my mother, she was very good at drawing. My mother wanted to send me to attend art school, but I was against it. So I’m self-taught. Education, I got vocational secondary education, I didn’t go to school anywhere else, I went to Moscow, and that’s where I live right now. Browsing Internet, I came across Demiart Forum and saw vector drawings, and I fell in love with this style right away. I realized that I had found my favorite destination in life, I have been drawing since 2008. At first I studied how to create vector artworks of photographs, well, now I want to update my portfolio a bit and I’m taking my time drawing my own one.
What tools did you use in your first vector artworks? Did you start immediately with the Gradient Mesh? A lot of professional designers do not use this technique because of its complexity. How much time have you spent on learning this remarkable tool for creating photo-realistic artworks?
Honestly, I began to draw using simple gradient fills, I was drawing in this style a short time, but still, I’m good at it. It could not give me what I wanted. I saw vector works performed using the Gradient Mesh, but I could not understand the technique of their creation. I got an aim - to learn to draw with the Gradient Mesh tool. I saw a great vector tutorial "How to create a vector peach from a photo» . I tried to do it so many times, but the grid kept coming out bent, and I had too much distortion.
Iaroslav, believe it or not, I went to sleep once, spent a while thinking how professionals create a grid. And then I got it, I got up, turned on the computer and tried it. I was shocked, I got what I wanted. Since then, I forgot about the gradients and was studying persistently the Gradient Mesh. I was studying for about half a year. I was drawing for myself, so I was carefully choosing an object for reproduction. After about 7-8 months, I created a new artwork using the Gradient Mesh.
His first artworks!
What did you understand? How to create a correct Gradient Mesh?
The first node of the Gradient Mesh is very important, if you put it in the wrong place, everything will go wrong. Now I can look at the objects and subconsciously understand how to create a grid, well, it probably comes with experience.
What kind of work do you choose as a reference (in Art, a reference is an item from which a work is based)?
Well, I do not know, everything that is beautiful is suitable for reproduction, regardless of complexity. I love to work in nude style. You understand why, because it's beautiful!
Have it ever happened that you like some work, but you do not take on turning it into a vector for some technical reasons?
First, I take time considering all the work, thinking if I can create the necessary grid, and then estimate how many grids I need for creation and make my decision. Yes, there were some references that I did not take because of complexity or great sophistication. I have a lot of works in which I have reached the peak of complexity, and left them until the next time ;-).
What are the main stages of creation your artwork?
First, I create a simple grid. Complex grid is very hard to edit. I create a path and fill it with common color, then gradually add nodes and new colors. For example, creating a human face (the most difficult part of the body), I start with the eyes. Some divide face into parts, separately drawing eyes, lips, nose, etc. I do not like to unite grids and then pick the colors in the places of their connection. I draw a face of a solid grid, although it is very meticulous work. I color the basic elements of the eye, moving from dark to light areas, then move on to other parts of the face. I only do basic filling, I do detailed filling at the end to evaluate the performance in general and see the gross mistakes.
How do you pick the colors?
I use the Eyedropper Tool (I) for color selection. Previously, I tried to create a palette of colors before starting to work with color. But still there are plenty of shades of the desired color, which is not in the palette. At the final stage, evaluating the work, I find mistakes in the color palette and combination of colors and fix them. Good result cannot be achieved at one time; eyes got tired, so you have to come back to work several times.
Are you using the plug-ins for Adobe Illustrator in your work? Which version of Adobe Illustrator you are using?
I’m working with Adobe Illustrator CS4; I do not have enough time to install the newer version. I understand that it needs to be done; otherwise I lag behind the perfection. I love to discover something new for myself, but do not use the plugins. I was taught: do not use something that makes your work easier; the harder the work is, the better it is valued. So I never use Gaussian Blur in my work.
Do you have your favorite artworks? How long did it take you to create it?
Iaroslav, you will not believe me but there is no work that I would really like. Yes, you create a new work, work on it, admire it, but something is not right. And when time goes by and I return to it, then certainly I find it is not perfect. Let’s say that I like my last job the most, since I put a lot of time, nerves and patience in it. I was creating PHYREXIA for a year, exactly one year! I was not in hurry to show it to people, I was enjoying it.
With so much talent like yours it is a sin not to make money from creative work. Would you like designing to become your main job? Would you like to be famous?
If I wanted to be famous, it would be one long ago. I do not go for it; I just draw for the soul. And I do not think I would like to make money on this. I do not know, maybe something will change later, but I have never sold my works and have not work for anybody else. I was dreaming to become a professional designer, illustrator, but various circumstances prevented this dream from coming true, and I stopped here.
Your artworks are very intensive; do you have time for any other hobbies, besides the vector work?
Yes, I find time for girls; I play professional billiards, go to clubs, and have as much fun in my life as I can ;-).
Adele, thanks for the great interview, what would you wish beginning vector artists?
What would I like to wish a beginner? Hmm ... Patience and work are the most important in vector, and only then you are cool.
Follow us if you want to be the first to know about the latest Adobe Illustrator tutorials and articles. Vectorboom team works for you!