Interview with artist of the month for January:
Nikolais has been a member of Renderosity since 2003. He resides in Rostov-na-Donu in Russia. He is primarily a photographer with a very large gallery of works. His subjects range from street photography to nature and portraits. One specialty Nikolais has is retouching his photographs using digital painting techniques to create the look of an oil painting. He is a master of this technique and the many beautiful works in his gallery is testament to his skills.
Nikolais took time out of his schedule to talk with us about his working methods and his experiences being a long-time member of Renderosity. Be sure to visit his gallery and discover this incredibly talented artists work.
Interview with Nikolais
A favorite of mine (and of Renderosity members) is your image: no winter yet. Can you tell us how you came to create this scene?. What was the process like?
Nikolais: "No winter yet" came as a photograph I took with my Nokia 808 Pure View mobile while visiting my local clinic. The woman by the window caught my eye as she had just taken her blood count test and now stayed on just sitting and looking into the late fall sky or the yellow tree tops. I didn't know what was on her mind but I thought we were both in the same mood. I did not like the photo but the mood grabbed me. Later on when I started working on it, some parts were clipped off. Then I used some brushwork to add color and brighten up the window light and also add some accents to her things as were hardly seen. I certainly used some other tools, like palette knife and did some surface texture enhancement to give it all a painterly feel.
What tools do you use to create digital imagery and what is your typical workflow?
Nikolais: I've been only using Corel Painter, and it must be for a couple of decades now. Before I only painted or doodles, but with the advent of digital photography I started taking and making pictures that saved me a lot of time as I didn't have to draw everything myself. Now I was able to use parts of my photographs.
How has being a member of Renderosity affected your growth as an artist? Do have any favorite artists at the site?
Nikolais: I am a member of a few forums for artists and photographers, but it all began with Renderosity, and it was 2005. Initially, I mostly posted photographs and learned by viewing works of others, reading their comments and commenting on their works. Later on, I started posting 2D. It has been a good school. I have made many friends here who have always been very helpful with their comments and encouragement. My favorite artists here are durleybeachbum, wysiwig, auntietk, anahata, blondeblurr, anaber, bmac62, chipka, koosievantutte to mention just a few those who have influence me the most this way or other.
Nikolais: Too bad many artists who I admired have gone, some of them for good. There have been many changes here: lots of artists are using a variety 3D software, and the site is growing more and more commercialized by advertizing lots of ready - or half-ready stuff in the front page. I feel there are more serious works, both in photography and 2D. Perhaps it's a call of the time, but who am I to judge?
Some of my works here I take as landmarks. A few years ago I decided to clean off my gallery but now I am very happy because that would have been a most stupid things I've ever made. Many of the originals of some older images have been lost and this is the only place I can see them again.