Here is the story of this girl's portrait, my first digital drawing:
This curious story happened in Quito (Ecuador - South America) around 1986 or 1987. I was 18 or 19 years old. I lived in Quito with my parents and brothers.
Hernando, a great friend of my family came back to Ecuador after a trip he made to the USA. He came back with a rare and 'marvelous' technological thing: A real computer!
I was totally mistaken about what to spect. I imagined that if it was not some kind of metallic pet moving and talking to us, at lest it would be a talking machine full of little pieces rotating as you can see inside a mechanical watch. My vague notion about a computer was that kind of huge and noisy black metal boxes full of light bulbs of different colors randomly turning on & off all the time, that you could imagine at watching science fiction tv series as "Lost in Space" or the old "Star Trek".
This little silent thing was not even metal: It was a plastic box akin to a tiny b&w TV, even smaller than my parents' old one. Apparently, the only difference between that 'computer' and a little b&w TV was that slim kind of typewriter machine and that thing akin to a cigarette pack, everything plastic, connected with cables.
It was a Macintosh Classic (something like 1 Mb RAM).
Anyway, I was there, trying to smile and waiting for my turn to touch and interact in some way with that thing while my older brother and Hernando were super enthusiastically talking and typing there. Then something happened that finally caught my attention for a moment: Hernando and my brother began to draw on the screen. Then I didn't know about software, hardware, etc ...
Now I know they were using a software called "Super Paint". They were tracing 100 % black pixels and erasing using 100% white pixels (that software didn't allow any intermediate tone). About brushes, I remember two options: a so simple aliased pencil and an aliased sprayer (always 100% white or 100% black). It was not an antialiased (smooth) option.
So I got an idea: with those black and white dots we could get an interesting image! After all -I thought- clear photographs well contrasted usually look good even without mid tones, just with extreme black and white. And those dots seemed little enough to get good detail! So, when it was finally my turn, I asked Hernando to -please- comeback to the 'drawing mode' so I could try my idea on the screen.
I went directly to that primitive spray and made -by memory- this face of a girl I had in my mind (half fictional, half inspired in two different girls I knew). That sprayer and that eraser allowed me to start with a so diffuse sketch that step by step -the more I was using a smaller and smaller brush diameter- my portrait was more and more defined. Finally -I think- I used that pencil to final precise little details and to adjust definition for example to the borders of the lips and especially eyes.
I don't really remember well, but according to my older brother (whose ability to accurately remember things has always amazed me) I finished this drawing in about 2 and a half hours.
The end result is something I always enjoy watching.
Even now, after more than 30 years of that first digital drawing, I still enjoy a lot the challenge of simplicity involved in the most simple images like those that you can create in pix style art.
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