Through pen, pencil and stylus, Shital Verma continues to successfully encapsulate the soul of renowned personalities in his portraits. The ballpoint and digital artist reveals his secrets on how to capture the spirit and essence of individuals in portraits.
From the narrow lanes of Banaras, Shital Verma, the current National Design Editor of Navbharat Times, continues to stun the world with his art. His art journey carried him to various fields such as lifestyle magazine design, children’s books, packaging design, ad campaigns, logo design, and digital illustration to name a few. Verma pursued Fine Arts in the Banaras Hindu University.
What inspired you to take up portraiture among all the other genres in art?
Shital: As a child, I read many books, comics, and other literary works; this enhanced my ability to visualize the scenes, which I tried to capture through my artworks. I also tried to draw portraits of public figures and celebrities. Many great artists on the Ghats of Banaras performed live paintings; such exposure to great artworks pushed me to pick up my pencil and draw.
Who is your greatest inspiration in the art field?
Shital: Works of Michelangelo, Van Gogh, Raja Ravi Varma are incredible sources of inspiration. There are several upcoming contemporary artists from around the world whose works are incredibly fascinating.
What are some of the most critical elements in portraiture that one must follow to capture the likeness of the individuals?
Shital: Eyes and hair are the most critical elements in portraiture.
How can one portray emotions in their portraits? What technique do you employ to achieve this?
Shital: A portrait goes beyond just copying a person’s face. Before starting any work, it is essential to study the characteristics of a person. This will enable us to help choose the best image to justify their personality.
Your artworks showcase a broad and versatile style. How would you best describe your style, and what would you call your signature style/technique?
Shital: When I started digital portrait, I experimented a lot, following several renowned illustrators, studying their styles and techniques. I use varying styles to match the personality of the person in the portrait.
Your works can be found in various mediums, from pen and ink to digital. Which is your most favourite medium and why?
Shital: Pencil and Ballpoint pen are my favorite mediums.
Most of your works are exclusively digital. How did you transition from traditional medium to digital? Can you recall that period when you were first introduced to digital art for us?
Shital: Being an Art Director, I often had to illustrate my ideas to better guide my team, and digital was the medium for this due to its ease and accessibility. With time, the medium grew on me, and I began using it for my portrait drawings.
Shital: My artistic process is relatively simple. I primarily use Photoshop and split my desktop screen to hold the original photograph on the left and artwork on the right. I use multiple layers to obtain the desired end result.
Whose portrait among your creations is your favourite and why?
Shital: Irrfan Khan and Chadwick Boseman
What are some of the projects that we can look forward to in the future?
Shital: I plan on exploring other unique styles and techniques of illustrations. Apart from portraiture, I plan to pursue architectural drawings, daily life, and other genres of art.