This week’s artist interview is with portrait artist Diego Fernandez, you can read the interview below and see a curated collection of his affordable modern art prints.
Diego is from Buenos Aires, Argentina. His portrait work evokes a depth of emotion rarely seen in contemporary portraits.
Diego works digitally, using Adobe Photoshop. The technique he has developed makes his digital artworks look like traditionally hand-drawn or painted work. I have included one of Diego’s process videos at the bottom of the page so you can see how he creates his artwork.
Diego’s work has been published in ‘Expose 9‘, and ‘Expose 11‘; books that showcase the best digital art from around the world, and the book ‘1000 Portrait Illustrations‘, as well as magazines such as Catapult Art Magazine and Laminate Most Wanted.
Diego’s affordable modern art prints are sold online with prices starting at US$17.
Your illustrations have an incredible amount of detail. You must be a very patient man. How long does each illustration take?
They don´t take that much time. My paintings are detailed, but they don´t have many elements or a background, just one character and that´s it. They usually take from 10 to 30 hours, depending on the size and level of detail.
Are you formally trained or self-taught?
Why did you choose to become a digital artist and not draw or paint by hand?
I used to draw a lot when I was a kid, using graphite and ballpoint pen, but when I was 19 or 20 years old, I just stopped drawing. After a few years, I bought a pen tablet for photo retouching (I worked as a graphic designer and art director), and started to draw again in my free time using the same tools I used for work
Who are your subjects, do you photograph them first or are you creating the portrait from your imagination as you go along?
Sometimes I start with a sketch, and when I have the pose I need, I search for the references, they can be pictures I find on the internet or photos I take myself. I like to create the faces I draw, so I use references just as a guide for lighting, perspective and proportions, but I change the features as I wish
Do you start a new piece knowing what emotion you want to portray?
Yes, that´s why I always start with the eyes, if they don´t show emotions as I want, I just leave the drawing.
Which one of your illustrations do you love the most and why?
I don´t have favorites, but some of them are more important to me than others. For example, “Twisted” was the first of my paintings that was published in an art book (Expose 9), “Ascension” was my first book cover, for a novel published in all Latin America and Spain.
If I was coming to Buenos Aires, where is the one place I must visit?
Well, I live outside the city, and I just go there once or twice a year. It´s a beautiful city, it´s similar in terms of architecture to European cities like Paris or Madrid, great museums, the Colón theatre… but it´s very chaotic, traffic is hell, everyone is hurried (like any big city, I think…) so is too stressful to me, I prefer the suburbs.
Anything else you would like to add that you think our readers might enjoy?
I´m planning to start drawing traditionally again, I started with a little sketchbook to see if I remember how to use graphite and charcoal, the idea is to add some traditional works to my digital ones.
If you enjoy the affordable modern art prints of Diego Fernandez check out featured New Zealand artist Meredith Marsone.
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