Gary Design Persona Poster

About Design:

  • What is design?

I think it is the creative thinking process you go through in order to create an object. Design in different fields would have very different definitions, for example, design in terms of furniture would be the creative process considering the aesthetics while also considering its practicality and comfortableness. In terms of graphic design, I think it is the process of creating visual content by moving around elements, creating templates using images, symbols, and words.

  • What inspires me about design?

Design, like art, I think it’s also a way for people to express their ideas, maybe not as many emotions as art, but creative ideas. Designing allows us to put our imagination into play, and turn thoughts into reality. I personally love engineering, and I design different random objects in my free time, and that inspired me to take graphic design. It would be a different approach for me to express my ideas, and would also allow to me make art.

  • What are my favorite design examples?

My favorite design example is the apple system. The reason that this system is universally loved is because of the cleaners and unity of its design. There are clean icons that seem to belong together, every icon has the same round corners, and the desktop of the phone is divided into margins so that users can only move apps to certain places. The android system, however, has not considered unity at all. Every icon has its own style, the desktops of phones are messy because the design of spaces between APPs and the number of APPs on each page isn’t made clear. Therefore, I never liked using android and apple always gives me this more clean and professional feel. This is my favorite example because this shows how much impact design could have on a product, and I’m really impressed with the clean design iPhone has.

  • Who are my favorite designers?

I never looked into individual designers.

Me as a designer:

  • What’s my most memorable experience designing (or creating) something? Why?

My most memorable experience of designing is creating a recording box for my piano. I used to like recording what I play on the piano, and I couldn’t do it without my parents. I designed this recording box on paper and eventually made it out of cardboard. It was a successful design product and that I could record on my own without asking for help from then on.

  • What would I like to get better at doing as a designer? (Eg drawing, presenting, digital design, fabrication, photo-editing, sharing, collaborating, etc)

I have almost no knowledge of digital design and photo editing, and I’m interested in it but never got the chance to try it. I’ve done a bit of Procreate in engineering design, but I never looked at any tutorials or learned from anywhere, it was just me using the most basic pens to sketch, so I also hope to develop my skills further for it.

  • What do already do pretty well? (Eg drawing, presenting, digital design, fabrication, photo-editing, sharing, collaborating, etc)

I think I already do pretty well in drawing on paper because it’s something that I’ve practiced for a long period of time. Also, I think I am pretty good at collaborating with others because I value all the ideas of others, and I’m not very stubborn and fixated with ideas of my own, so I could be flexible in discussions.

My inspirations:

Inspiration #1:

DIY Digital Painting The Avengers Movie Superhero Black Widow By Numbers On Canvas For Unique Gift Home Decor 40X50CM|Painting & Calligraphy| - AliExpress

  • Who created the portrait and how (try to find examples that tell you this info, otherwise, take a guess)?

The artists and origin of this digital portrait aren’t specified on the second-handed website that I found this on, even when I followed the image link on google. My guess for who the artist is is that she might be a female, who might be the character in this digital portrait, combining her face with a superhero character.

  • How would you describe the portrait style? What does it tell you about the person?

I think this portrait is made with paint and the style, identified by the realistic lighting and shadows, is a realistic style. From my own interpretation of this portrait, it tells me that the woman in the portrait might think of herself as a very strong and independent female, or at least she wishes to be. This is because black widow has these characteristics, and the artist portrays herself as this character. Another assumption that could be made about the artist is that she might just purely be a big fan of Black Widow and wishes to include elements of her idol in her digital portrait.

  • What design elements can you identify (line, color, texture, shape, tone, form)?

I think the color choices are very interesting in the background, the artist uses the split complementary color scheme: red, blue, and green, and on top of that, uses dark shades of these colors instead of a brighter tone. This use of darker shades and this color scheme brings background unity and has a better artistic feel than brighter colors. Another element that brings unity to the background is the geometrical color blocks of darker shades of each color are used on every color. The three colors mixed together at the same intensities create white, and in this case, the center of a mixture of the three colors is the portrait of the artist, therefore the use of these three colors can make the character stand out. In terms of the character, the colors are just used as they were realistic, the color of skin, clothes, and hair all match the character black widow in movies. For lines, I think they’re used at a minimum level, and mostly the outlines are covered by the colors themselves, without bordering using lines. By doing this, I think this makes the painting overall look a bit rough if that’s the style the artist is going for.

  • What do you like about each example and how might it work for your self-portrait?

I like the idea of using a color scheme that brings unity and shows off my character more, I think I would definitely use that idea in my own portrait. Another idea that I thought was cool was combining a fictional character I like, or even background, with myself to show more of myself and my interests through the portrait, for example, drawing myself with Mickey Mouse ears. Finally, I really like the style of minimizing the borders used and use only pure blocks of colors, because I like the rough feel that this portrait brings me, and it matches the theme of the adventurous qualities in black widow.

Inspiration #2:

Digital Portrait Painting | CG Master Academy

  • Who created the portrait and how (try to find examples that tell you this info, otherwise, take a guess)?

This is created by one of the teachers at CG masters academy, using a digital medium.

  • How would you describe the portrait style? What does it tell you about the person?

The style of this portrait is very realistic, with a splash of fantasy. The facial structures, the hand, and the crow are all painted with realistic lighting, but the elf-like traits, the white eyes, and the fantasy costume adds a really interesting feel to the portrait. I think this portrait tells me that this person is very adventurous and maybe loves fantasy.

  • What design elements can you identify (line, color, texture, shape, tone, form)?

Formatting, the artist didn’t just use portrait format like almost all the others, instead, she used a landscape format and placed the main subject, which is the women in the portrait, on about the 1/3 line of the portrait to the right. The colors used are mainly black and white, with a small amount of gold and ivory. The entire portrait is mainly made with a dark color scheme and with a dark tone, but the character has a face colored with ivory, which brings the character to the audience as a focal point. The texture of this portrait is very smooth, unlike the last one which seemed intendedly rough.

  • What do you like about each example and how might it work for your self-portrait?

I really like the idea of using a landscape format to do a portrait, it’s because I could add more details into the background of the portrait. I think a weakness in using a landscape format is that the character itself might be hard to receive full attention, but that leads to the other thing I like about this portrait. It uses contrast in color to bring the character out of the background.

Digital Art: 40+ Inspiring Illustrations on Diverse Themes

  • Who created the portrait and how (try to find examples that tell you this info, otherwise, take a guess)?

The portrait was on a list website that didn’t provide the author or any citations. This is definitely a digital portrait since it came from a digital portrait inspiration website. I think two types of tools were used (from my very limited experiences with procreate), one of them is using the dry brush, and the smoother blocks are painted using a max-width studio pen.

  • How would you describe the portrait style? What does it tell you about the person?

My guess is that this is a woman who’s positive and open. These bright colors and very positive-seeming shapes show makes me think this way. Also, the first thought that came to me when I saw this digital portrait was that “This seemed very Italian”. I think the style of this portrait is leaning towards abstract. These irregular shapes in the background don’t seem to mean anything, and the bright colors’ combinations are not very realistic, therefore I think the background is a piece of abstract art, combining with the more realistic face in the front.

  • What design elements can you identify (line, color, texture, shape, tone, form)?

I can identify the design elements of shapes in the background. The artists used various geometrical shapes to create the background. I couldn’t identify a specific color scheme used to create this portrait, however, I could see that they are all bright colors, and the artist used a variety. This use of a variety of bright colors follows a positive and light tone. The person in the front is drawn with purely lines but not shapes, and I think that provides another type of contrast with the color blocks in the back.

  • What do you like about each example and how might it work for your self-portrait?

I like the artist’s free use of lines because it gives me a very unrestrained feel to the piece, such as the curly lines on the hair, and I also like her use of color. It makes this piece of art very unique and gives light feelings to the audience. The takeaway from this portrait is that my portrait doesn’t have to be realistic, it could also have abstract elements added to it if that is what I look for.


Create a low-poly portrait - Digital Arts

  • Who created the portrait and how (try to find examples that tell you this info, otherwise, take a guess)?

An adobe illustrator instructor created this image, obviously, using adobe illustrator. This was done by inserting a photo into adobe illustrator, apply triangular mesh, and finally fill in the colors for the shades.

  • How would you describe the portrait style? What does it tell you about the person?

This is a low-poly portrait. I feel like this portrait’s style is very futuristic, and gives a very professional feel. What I feel about this person when I look at this picture is that he’s techy, chill, and pretty upper-class. I feel like these feelings brought to me is actually by the use of this style, because applying this low-poly filter can smooth out the potentially messy background or features on the original photo and make the outcome look clean.

  • What design elements can you identify (line, color, texture, shape, tone, form)?

I can identify the element of texture. Unlike a smoother skin, this portrait has rough edges, like a box or a dungeons and dragons die, and each piece of the triangle only has one type of color, whereas in real like it might have had pimples or just different shading, this mono-colored triangle pieces that make up this portrait gives it a simple tone, simple and clean.

  • What do you like about each example and how might it work for your self-portrait?

I really like the outcome of this portrait, but I didn’t like the process of creating it from the tutorial. It’s basically just me dragging in a picture and using tools to trace rather than actually applying my own thinking to it. But I guess something I could take from this is that maybe I don’t have to make the background that filled, maybe just a shade of grey can give it a sense of luxury and professionalism.


Digital Oil Paintings - Photoshop Painting Brushes with Oil Texture Gallery

  • Who created the portrait and how (try to find examples that tell you this info, otherwise, take a guess)?

This is a portrait by Michael Adamidis, and this is a digital portrait with oil painting techniques.

  • How would you describe the portrait style? What does it tell you about the person?

I think the style is conceptual, with a close-up approach. The close-up technique used shows the audience greater detail of the facial expressions, and therefore better communicates feelings. From what I can see, his eye is closed, his eyebrows are clenched, and his mouth points to the bottom in a frown. This communicates a feeling of sadness to me, and therefore I think that this is a person who went through some tragedy or degression. Also, his nose is red indicating that he might have been crying for a while. The reason why I said the painting is conceptual is that I think the use of the background color and some covering up this person, can communicate the concept that maybe tragedy can slowly cover up a person and eventually take over.

  • What design elements can you identify (line, color, texture, shape, tone, form)?

A design element I can identify is the color of the background. It again brings great contrast to the light colors of the main subject in the piece, and the not-dark and not-light green bring a depressing feel to the piece. After imagining how other colors would look on this piece, I think nothing brings more sadness than this. For example, a black might just be cliché, and no even strong enough. Using brighter colors fails the purpose of the solemnness that this shade of green brings, so I think the color is very well chosen. The texture of this oil painting is also not very smooth, it has very obvious marks of brush strokes. However, I also think that this is a good thing because it shows that the person in the portrait is not-smoothened, and is going through a rough time that’s about to break him.

  • What do you like about each example and how might it work for your self-portrait?

I think the color choice is really important, so I would want to try out different colors for my background before I start it, instead of just going with the first thought. Also, I think some additional strokes like the lines that overlap with the person could be taken and put into my portrait, and I think these simple additions can add complexity if my portrait ends up looking blank.

Posters – Likes and Dislikes:

How illustrated movie posters making a comeback - Digital Arts

This is a poster I really like because its image is big and powerful. It avoids the use of extra words on the poster and only chose to print the essential ones, which makes the poster look clean and futuristic. Another thing I like about this and learn from this is that the central text, “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” is not actually in the middle of the poster; it would honestly look much worse if it was in the very middle. The artist deliberately put the text in the middle of the character rather than the poster and I think that it has brought the focal point to the main subject.

DesignLab | Persona Posters | Mailchimp design, Persona marketing, Persona

What I like about this type of poster is that it does have some texts, but it doesn’t seem at all messy or hard to focus on. I think it has a mono-colored background and a very clear portrait in the foreground. The texts are arranged in such a way that it fills the blank space perfectly, leaving even spaces between each. What I want to learn from this is that it has this way of adding text without being messy or boring, also using different fonts (as long as it’s the same color) doesn’t interfere with the unity.

Persona Posters by Victor E. on Dribbble

I don’t like this poster because it just looks a bit boring. The text is too small and doesn’t grab my attention, and they’re also aligned in such a way that it’s only a straight line. The poster also looks a bit hollow and serious, compared to the poster above that uses a similar style, but turns out to be way more attractive than this poster. I think it’s because of two components. One is that if the poster chose to use a mono-colored background, I think it shouldn’t leave blank space because it just looks too blank, and seems incomplete. Another component is that the placement of text is really weird and small.

Persona Posters by Margherita C on Dribbble

This is another poster that I don’t like, and it is for a similar reason as the last one. This poster has a person in the foreground and a blurred out background, however, I think it has the same problem that this design left too much blank space, as well as unequal space between the text. These unequal spaces caused the texts with different fonts to lose unity and just seemed like random words found in different places ut together.

I Am No Longer Poster by mcdomos | Society6

I like this poster A LOT. It has a beautiful visual that has the same style throughout the poster, has little details in the right bottom corner that tells us more, and at the same time doesn’t distract our focus on the main subject. The hair, being monotone, of this person is used as a place to put text, and I think that’s a really smart and good use of the only blank space left in the poster. The poster overall has a style that appears to be rough, as it’s easy to tell the brush strokes, and even the text on here uses the same style as a messy type of handwriting. Even with a lot of text, the layout of the poster and the font of the text made it look interesting, I assume that it wouldn’t be the case if the text were to be computer-generated.


This is, finally, a poster that I extremely dislike. Its color scheme is terribly picked (sorry), and this type of randomly bashed together colors used on this type of ‘children’ font makes the poster look very cheap. It changes color countless times and added elements that don’t relate to each other and the topic at all.

  • Explain how the style of your self-portrait reflects who you are

I did my self-portrait in a rather plain style, with two plain colors as the background, and my portrait with a chill expression and sunglasses in the foreground. I think this serious, realistic approach to draw my face and jacket shows that I’m a pretty serious person; I would even draw exactly what I look like when I could be creative in a poster. The serious expression and the sunglasses kind of shows that I’m a pretty down to earth person; I probably spend 90% of my day doing this expression, and I don’t often laugh, and I don’t talk that much.

  • Explain some of the design decisions you made with your presentation poster

This is the original image of myself that I based my poster on:

I first outlined the important features of the face and jacket on a blank background, so that I could get an approximate shape of what parts I have to fill in. During this process, I tried to trace my eyes many times, but the pixelated image didn’t really allow me to trace the eyes to a point where I’m satisfied. I thought of an idea and just covered the eyes with black, and turning my glasses into sunglasses. In this stage,  I also marked the parts that need additional shading.

Then, I colored in my jacket. Throughout the 4 hour-long processes, I switched three types of pen, and eventually rested at the technical pen, at a larger width. From the jacket, you could tell that the flipped out part, the zip lock part, and the rest of the jacket is painted in a different texture. After I finished the shading, the texture of it was actually really rough. I tried out the smudge tool at a very thin width, and it gave me this final jacket shading where the colors are better to blend in together. During the shading, I found that the lines I made on my outlining part were making the jacket look unrealistic because an object in real life isn’t bounded by lines, even in 2-D, but rather by values. So I covered up the lines with color.

At this point, I thought of my final product to leave the face uncolored (since shading takes so long), so I worked on the hair and the background. I shaded the hair with only black, and I found it to be very plain and empty. The background was composed of two parts, the sun, and the purple in the back; I used smudge on these two layers to blend three colors together to create that fade effect. Here is an example of before and after smudge.

After I was done with that, I asked Mrs.Gietz for some feedback, and she commented that I could have more detail on the darker values, and then leave the face blank so that it has a sense of completion and unity. Listening to that advice, I shaded in the hair to try to make it have some more value and shade using dark and light purple. Since my background already has that LOFI and hip-hop feel, I decided to add some elements to the sunglasses that don’t necessarily realistic. So I chose the cyberpunky-realistic colors of neo blue and neo pink to add value.

As you can see in the picture above, the result of my decision didn’t work so well. The overshading of the dark regions takes the focus off the face that has no color. The hair seemed to be a little out of shape, and the neo blue and pink seemed to have a pretty bad contrast with the yellow background. I erased the hair completely and redrew it with a better form. The contrast of the neo color with yellow was a bit better when I added yellow lighting so that the large contrasts don’t really stand out that much.

I thought the shape of the hair was, again, a bit off, so I redid it again with purple shading, as well as decided to shade in the face. The extra shading on darker parts made me feel like the face has to be filled in in order for the final product to look complete. The picture below is an almost complete version of the portrait with the face shaded. I turned off all extra layers and changed the background color to green (and later gray) so that it is very clear when my shading has some blanks between them I needed to fill. This process actually took longer than an hour.

Feeling pretty confident about the portrait part, I moved to the layout part, and I felt like my background wasn’t really well thought out to include text, so I changed into another one with a mono-colored background. I put in the words that describe me, my interests, as well as the goal of this course, but even when I tried different arrangements, I have to admit, it looks extremely messy and hard to catch focus. The little “cool not” joke I put in there doesn’t seem to work then rather distract the unity of the poster.  I asked my mom about how she felt about this poster, and she said that it lacks the art vibe because my visual looked too much like a photograph and that my poster is too messy that she can’t really decide what to look at.

Feeling terrible, I went back to my old idea and surprisingly found a way to put in text that doesn’t ruin the layout I had; which was to put words around the circle, and I felt like I’ve made a lot of improvements based on feedback, and changes based on observation, so I think that this final product is acceptable, but could be a lot better.

  • Reflect on the successes of your poster and explain what you would do differently next time

I think in terms of success, I think I’ve gained a lot of skills during this making process; blending, smudging, layers, lighting, lasso selection, and grouping pieces. In terms of the poster, I think success would be that I eventually did get a visual that I initially hoped for, something that looks very much like in reality, a photograph. I think another success would be that I found a way to incorporate text in the initial design of the background that I thought of. When it came to the text and composition part, I thought, “crap, I didn’t think of that”, but eventually the final product turned out to be okay.

In terms of improvements, I could write a big, long, list. First, the jacket has different textures because I used different pens, it would be nice if I tested out each one’s efficiency then decide to use only one kind of pen to finish my piece. Another improvement I could’ve made is: don’t slack. Slacking on my hair in the initial stage thinking that I could fix it later has caused me so much trouble erasing and shading it over and over. It’s important to have an accurate brought draft of things before I begin with the real work, so if I do that first next time, it would save me a lot of time. Another thing I would do differently is that I probably won’t pay that much attention to small details. The attention to detail makes the portrait I have to look like a photograph, without the art vibe, according to my mom, and I agree with her. Maybe less shading would take me way less time, and at the same time, increase the artistic feels of this piece rather than a drawn photograph. Another thing I would do differently if I restart this project is that my planning should be very thorough, and think of things in the far future such as adding text. I think that a very specific plan isn’t really possible because the piece could be constantly changing when you find things that I don’t like along the way. However, if I were to even think about adding text and leave designs that could finally help me put my text into, I could’ve avoided making extra designs I didn’t even end up using, and maybe even result in a better final product.


6 thoughts on “Gary Design Persona Poster

  1. I agree that the apple system is one the best all time greats of software design that involves efficient user engagement and coherent displays.

  2. I like how you used the colors in your portrait and how you did it with the background and skin tone on your face to use the same color. The darker background also contrasts well with the brighter background that is directly behind your face.

  3. I really like your usage of smudging, shapes, contrast, and depth. they really enhance the look of your piece.

  4. Hi Gary, I LOVE your background, the choice of colour and positioning makes it look so nice! And the way you used your background to fill the face is also a really nice design choice, I like the simplicity of it 🙂

  5. I really like the way you shaded the jacket! The various smudges and contrasts of dark and light colours really enhance your poster 😀

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