Interview with Ismail Tarchoun

Published    1/3/2017

Could you tell us something about yourself?

My name is Ismael. I’m a self-taught artist from Tunisia, but I now live and study in Germany.

Do you paint professionally, as a hobby artist, or both?

I’m now painting only as a hobby, it’s a really fun and stress relieving activity. But I might do some freelancing work in the future.

What genre(s) do you work in?

I usually paint portraits and manga-styled characters, but I paint other stuff as well. I always try to expand my horizon and learn new things.

Whose work inspires you most — who are your role models as an artist?

Well, there is a long list of artists who inspired me. For example: Kuvshinov-Ilya and Laovaan Kite, I really like their style and their work always looks great. David Revoy is also one of my favorite artists, I really like his art and his web comic.

How and when did you get to try digital painting for the first time?

I actually only started last summer (2016). Before that, I mainly drew pencil portraits, which was limiting in nature. After seeing some amazing digital paintings on the internet, I wanted to be able to draw like that, and so it was decided. I bought a Wacom intuos art and tried it. It needed some getting used to, but I eventually fell in love with the infinite range of possibilities digital painting offers.

What makes you choose digital over traditional painting?

Well, I still paint traditionally from time to time. But I like digital painting more now, since it offers more tools which help me achieve good results with minimal effort. I also love the Ctrl+z shortcut (I wish real life had that!) so I’m not worried about ruining my work, and I can make more daring decisions which allow me to express myself more freely.

How did you find out about Krita?

I actually learned about form Blender forums, some users there recommended it over Gimp as a painting program, so I tried it and fell in love with it.

What was your first impression?

I was amazed by the sheer amount of features it offered, and the user interface looked good (I like dark-themed programs). For free software it was great, it even has features Photoshop doesn’t have. So in general, I had a positive first impression.

What do you love about Krita?

I really love the various brushes and the way they’re rendered, they felt so organic, and like real brushes. I also like the non-destructive filters and transformations, that is pretty rare in free software, and it really encourages you to try new and different stuff, and if you don’t like it, you can change it later (more freedom with minimal consequences).

What do you think needs improvement in Krita? Is there anything that really annoys you?

There are some features I want to see in Krita, for example: a small preview window: it’s essential to get a feeling of the painting in general, otherwise it might turn out weird. I also wish Krita could import more brushes from other programs. But nothing is really that bothersome about Krita, there are some bugs, but they are constantly being fixed by the awesome devs.

What sets Krita apart from the other tools that you use?

Canvas tilting, rulers, transformation and filter layers, and the Multibrush also. Quite neat features.

If you had to pick one favourite of all your work done in Krita so far, what would it be, and why?

I think I’d choose the stylized portrait at the top of this interview, which doesn’t have a name (I really suck at naming things). It started as a simple painting exercise, but it ended up looking pretty good, or at least better than my previous works, which is a good sign of improvement. But I hope it doesn’t stay my favorite painting for long. In other words, I hope I’ll be able to put it to shame in the near future.

What techniques and brushes did you use in it?

First, I made a rough sketch, then I started laying in some general colors using a large soft brush (deevad 4a airbrush by David Revoy) without caring about the details, only basic colors and a basic idea of how the painting is lit. Then I started going into details using a smaller sized brush (deevad 1f draw brush). I usually paint new details in a separate layer, then merge it down if I’m happy with the results, if not I, I delete the layer and paint a new one. I use the liquify tool a lot to fix the proportions or any anomaly. For the hair I used the brush (deevad 2d flat old) and the hair brush (vb3BE by Vasco Alexander Basque) which I also used for the hat. When the painting is done I use filters to adjust the colors and contrast, I then make a new layer for final and minor tweaks here and there.

Where can people see more of your work?

You can find me on DeviantArt (not everything is made using Krita): http://tarchoun.deviantart.com/

Anything else you’d like to share?

I just hope that Krita will get even better in the future and more people start using it and appreciating it.

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