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Saturday, April 16, 2016


Guapita by Tanya Torres. Digital painting. 2016. An illustration for the program Guapitas, by Aspira PA and Gloria Rodríguez of the Guapa Project and De Almas Women's Institute.

Guapita by Tanya Torres, Acrylic on canvas, 10" x 8", 2016. The final painting, posted by Gloria on Facebook.

This is an illustration I created for a project that consists of a full day retreat for young women (GUAPITAS of Aspira PA.) The goal of the project is to facilitate experiences of sacred connection, body, culture & spirit, power, agency, creative soul expression, and feminist leadership. My mission was to create an original piece of art that depicts the qualities of Strength, Power, Confidence, Positivity and Realness. 

Here is the process:

I was sent this image. My apologies to the photographer, I have no information about the origins.
But it is very beautiful and inspiring.
First drawing. I concluded that this would be my daughter, if I had had a daughter. Drawing by Tanya Torres.

The girl needed to reflect more the girls in the program, so I translated the image to photoshop and added different hair. Drawing by Tanya Torres. 

Version 2 with longer hair. This was the chosen version. Drawing by Tanya Torres.

Acrylic painting. She was is too dark, sad eyes, no smile.
There must still be a sad girl still me who wanted to come out
and decided to at the wrong time... Painting by Tanya Torres. 
I used Photoshop to lighten the skin. Too light. Painting by Tanya Torres.

Layers of digital paint! Photoshop saves me once again! Digital Painting by Tanya Torres.
If I had not had long years of training in the editorial process, from my old days in publishing, I couldn't have done this project. When I sign up for something like this, I know it might take a few tries! 

I never set out to become an illustrator, but once in a while I accept a project for a book or a poster. I make people look at my website before they hire me and tell me exactly what they like, to make sure they really want to hire me. It is sometimes difficult to read people's minds, although that is one of my talents ;) Mostly, I know what I don't want to do. 

For this one, I knew I would enjoy doing it because 1) it's a girl 2) she could have flowers and butterflies on her hair 3) Photoshop exists. And illustrator, which I know just a little, but use for basic tasks. 

I still have to rework the original acrylic painting, but I consider the digital painting to be the final image and it's already in Philadelphia. I hope the girls like it!