She combines traditional and digital art-making processes to create these vivid, colorful artworks that convey the essence of the people she is portraying. These are no ordinary portraits - they sing with vibrancy and beam with a delightful quirkiness!
Jessica has a great sense of color and pattern, which she weaves into her portrait art to create compositions that are well-balanced and rich with flavor.
Check out this informative interview with Jessica Gonacha and find out how she creates these wonderful pieces and read the inspiration behind her fun portrait art!
Can you briefly explain your process in creating these portraits?
Sure! Basically they all start out in my sketchbook. I usually draw things in pencil first and then trace over in ink once I'm happy with the drawing, but sometimes I'll be brave and just go for it with a pen! Once I'm done with the ink drawing, I scan it into my computer and color it digitally in either Photoshop and/or Illustrator. Often I'll incorporate patterns that I've created or textures that I've scanned into the pieces as well, for some added dimension and interest.
Do you use models or reference photos?
I use photos at the beginning of most drawings. I have a lot of books, catalogues, magazines, and photographs that I'll go to when I need a figure in a certain position, or a face at a certain angle...
Can you describe the materials you use to create these artworks?
I really only use pen, pencil, paper, my scanner, and my trusty computer!
What are the advantages of creating these artworks partially in a digital manner?
One thing I really love about creating artwork digitally is that it doesn't take up any space. It's just drawings in sketchbooks and space on the hard drive of my computer-- rather than bulky paintings taking up my whole house! (But I have that problem, too. ) ;)
I really like each approach for different reasons. I love creating digitally because it seems more immediate and instantly gratifying. It's easier to make changes and to make things clean and precise. But there is something about sitting down to painting that I will love forever. It's relaxing in a way that I don't think digital work will ever be for me. It's just such a different experience all around.
What is your goal with creating these portraits?
I think my goal is to convey messages of hope and positivity through these images. Or often just something ridiculous and funny. I like the drawings to be a little imperfect, because that's how I am and how everyone is. I just hope that people will relate somewhat to the drawings and see pieces of themselves in them.
Do you see your artwork moving into a more digital direction in the future?
Yes, definitely. I really want to continue branching out into surface pattern design and illustration, and all of that aspect of my work is digital. I will always paint, though, because I love it so much, and it's very soothing for me. But we live in a digital age, and I do love my computer!
What fun portrait art! Many, many thanks to Jess for her insightful answers in this interview, and for showing us how portrait art can be so unique, fresh and fun. You can see more of Jessica's artwork at her website: www.jessgonacha.com. She sells original artwork, prints, and other artsy goodies in her etsy shop. You can keep up to date with her newest creations at her flickr or her blog.
(click image to visit her etsy store)