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BAYANI E. DE LEON – Mastering the digital art medium

Updated on June 5, 2012


Bayani De Leon will delight you with his portraits that vibrate with color and movement. While he began his creative journey using traditional materials, his work took a decidedly dramatic turn when he discovered the joys of working with a graphic tablet.

“Some of my sketches during earlier years (1970s-2008) were all done in pencil, pen/ink, charcoal, pastels, acrylic and oil paints with traditional art tools. Then on June 2009, my art creativity got wired. I got addicted to a tablet,” explained Bayani. “I applied the basics and the old school traditional (line) drawing style and technique but with a different art tools. I used a Wacom tablet with the versatile all in one stylus pen and a big Apple iMac with Photoshop with unlimited art tools and colors.”

The results are what Bayani calls green art. “I have none of the expense of buying art supplies (paints, brushes, pen, pencil, paper or canvas, etc.) No mess to clean up. And it can be done/printed in any size, anywhere or anytime whenever you're in the mood to sketch, doodle or paint,” he said.

For artists considering the switch to digital painting Bayani cautions that there is quite a big learning curve. “You have to learn how to use the computer first, the hardware and the software, which is really the most challenging part of all. I've been using the Mac since it came out in 1985 using it mostly for my technical work while I still do the pencil sketch the traditional way up to the 1990s.”

The best way to conquer that learning curve according to Bayani is utilizing online resources. “There are many websites and YouTube tutorials devoted to Photoshop techniques. All for free especially for starving artists, without unnecessary spending or buying expensive tutorial books or magazines.”

While digital painting may be becoming a more common medium among artists there still remains a certain stigma to it as an art form. “Most people are less accepting about any art done with computer. And most of them appreciate watching movies with special effects which are all done digitally. But when it comes to a simple portrait sketch, they are not impressed. I think it is important to know a person first before judging what they're capable of or who they really are... a true artist or not.”

Specializing in portraiture, Bayani is intrigued by a portraits ability to capture both the subject and the artist’s expression in one work of art. “The model emotes through their facial expressions and the artist through their line works and brush strokes. It is a snapshot of the moment of artist creation.”

As a fulltime freelance illustrator Bayani admits that promoting his art work is not always his top priority. “I still work with technical clients doing lots of graphic art and designs and a few technical illustrations for engineering and environmental companies. The only way I promote my BeSketch portrait art currently is through online websites and word of mouth through my previous portrait clients and friends. Probably when I retire from technical illustration work, I will be exhibiting my portrait painting with galleries or in my own gallery,” said Bayani.

You might be surprised to know that Bayani enjoys the teachings of Mother Theresa and Gandhi. “I find the purpose of their lives and the legacy beautiful.”

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      ed jose 5 years ago

      Pareng Bayani... these are great portraits! Wish you can put up Elvis, Abe Lincoln and James Taylor portraits you drew back when we were in the PI. Thanks.

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      Laura Brown 6 years ago from Barrie, Ontario, Canada

      I bought a tablet years ago but then never had desk space to set it up. Still gathering dust at the back of the closet. This is nice work. Lovely to see what others are creating.

    • Spirit Whisperer profile image

      Xavier Nathan 6 years ago from Isle of Man

      A wonderful exposure to the world of digital using a wacom tablet. I myself use my PC and free software called Gimp2 to dabble in this area but my work is nowhere near as good as this artist's. Thank you.

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      Paul Martin Ahern 6 years ago

      amazing art!