Seikou Yamaoka’s “paintings” have been described as unerringly realistic, and his videos on how he does his artwork have attracted attention over social networks and online. However, Yamaoka does not create his art through traditional paint and paintbrush – at least, not anymore – but with Apple products like the iPhone and the iPad, and with an app.
Yamaoka was a former art student, who studied at the Osaka University of Arts, majoring in graphic design. He also took up art and design in high school, but worried about whether he could support his family creating art. Even as his 103-year-old-grandfather, Kiko Yamada, asked him to succeed him in his career as a portrait painter, Seikou had to decline. But Yamaoka re-discovered his flame for the arts when he discovered digital art at a reunion with a former high school friend. Using a paid app called ArtStudio, he began drawing portraits on his iPhone on his train journeys to work. The results were stunning. One of his videos where he shows how he copied Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer’s “Girl with a Pearl Earring” has been played more than 425,000 times on YouTube.
“You do not need tools or a studio, and you can work over again if you make mistakes,” the 40-year-old, who now lives in Sakai, Osaka Prefecture, said. “I want to spread the fun of easy-to-do painting to other people.” Yamaoka starts out most of his creations by outlining the face and body on his gadget’s screen, then adjusting line width and density by zooming in and making selections. “The word digital art probably reminds you of a stiff image,” he said. “In reality, however, you can draw a portrait with a soft impression thanks to a fingertip.”
[via Asahi / all artwork by Seikou Yamaoka]