Interview With Artist Daniel Bhawani

Daniel Bhawani is an artist whose illustration of Aladdin checking out Esmerelda, while Jasmine scolds has been circulating the net recently. Daniel’s medium ranges and he frequently does 3D art that jumps right off of the page. Daniel’s Blink 182 fanart was even posted on the band’s twitter page.

So, your drawing of Aladdin checking out Esmeralda has been getting a lot of buzz on the Internet, why did you choose to create it?

Daniel Bhawani: I always thought the “Disney Princesses” were a bit too mainstream, and growing up Esmeralda and Meg from Hercules were my favorite, so I figured why not change things up. Plus, I saw the whole hype on that guy checking out the girl meme, so it was a perfect fit.

What program did you use, Photoshop?

Daniel Bhawani: I usually do all my drawings including this one in a little program called “Paint Tool Sai”.

I never heard of Paint Tool Sai, do you like it better than Photoshop?

Daniel Bhawani: For me, personally, yes. I’ve used Photoshop when I first started doing digital work and it was good, but a friend of mine referred me to Paint Tool Sai and every since then It felt more fluent and things blended better. I hear a lot of people use it for anime art.

Do you use a mouse or do you have a stylus?

Daniel Bhawani: I use a Wacom Bamboo tablet, but I’ve had my fair share of mouse days.

A lot of the drawing looks freehand but there are some things that look like you may have used the pen tool, was it all freehand or did you use other tools?

Daniel Bhawani: It was freehand. I guess I have steady hands thanks to those mouse days. I’m pretty sure if you zoom in you’ll see some jitter here and there.

Most of the lines do have jitter, now that I zoom in, but some look smooth.

When you shade, do you use a soft brush, so the color bleeds a little into the base color or is it more pixelated like the pencil tool?

Daniel Bhawani: If I’m doing cartoon/animation style like Disney, I’ll probably stick with hard shadows where much blending isn’t necessary. I’ll just go a couple shades lower than the base and just slap it on over. But if I’m doing something more complex, Paint Tool Sai has this awesome water tool where it blends colors with ease.

What resolution are your illustrations set? Mine are usually 300-600 dpi.

Daniel Bhawani: Yeah mine are about that too 300-500.

What px do you use for your line-art?

Daniel Bhawani: It kind of varies I guess. Like I said I’m feeling my way through. I would say around 7-10 px for construction lines. I like them skinny so they can look all sketchy and give myself the illusion that I’m actually onto something. Then I do the final line-art with maybe a 20-30px for Photoshop. On Sai it’s a whole other game because I think Sai only supports 150dpi and lower so the brush px has to be way smaller. I could be wrong though maybe it does support higher resolution, but mine doesn’t.

I think I used 20px for my Goku fanart around the body and 10px for lines on the body in Photoshop. There probably isn’t a specific size. Just whatever looks right, but I think that’s a question a lot of artists still ask. Like what kind of pencil do you use? The pencil doesn’t really matter.

Daniel Bhawani: It’s not the pencil that counts it’s what you do with it.

Did you ever take any art lessons?

Daniel Bhawani: I did throughout high school but a lot of the stuff I do now is self-taught, looking at other artist’s style and feeling my way through.

Do you draw professionally or as a hobby or as a hobby until someone will pay you to do it professionally?

Daniel Bhawani: I do it as a hobby now and yes I hope I can someday do it professionally and make some cheddar from it.

Do you have any plans for your art? Are you trying to be an animator or comic book artist or something else?

Daniel Bhawani: At first I only wanted to make pretty pictures, then I wanted to be an animator but after seeing the process it might take a while. I’ve always fancied illustration for kids/teens books. Do kids even read these days though?

Maybe you can do some cutscenes in video games?

Daniel Bhawani: Maybe with some good experience. It took me 3 days to make a 10-second video once.

Did you ever do art for charity?

Daniel Bhawani: I’ve never, but hopefully one day. I’d love to do that. A long time ago I did artwork for an organization that was campaigning against corporal punishment towards children, but that was so long ago I can’t even remember what I drew. 

You also recently did some scary monsters for a kid’s party.

Daniel Bhawani: Oh yes! Those were decals for a kid’s haunted house for a church fair. I couldn’t attend to see their faces sadly. I wouldn’t say that it was charity, more like helping out my community Church.

Where has your Esmeralda illustration been featured?

Daniel Bhawani: I first uploaded it to Instagram then someone mentioned that I should totally post it on 9Gag’s website. I’ve never posted anything there before so this was my first. By the time I woke up in the morning it was trending and the very next day it made it to the hot page. I have no clue if it was featured anywhere else but I wasn’t expecting all that attention it got.

I’ve seen it in some Facebook groups and shared on pages. Are you working on anything now?

Daniel Bhawani: Currently no. Having a major art block right now. Explains the huge gaps in posts on my IG page.

Some of Daniel’s other art is shown below, and you can also check him out on Instagram @sk8rdan.

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