David Ho

David Ho is a digital artist who creates very painterly images using Poser.
I became aware of David Ho’s art work preparing our coverage of the
2001 International Digital Art Awards. Again, while judging the 2002
IDAA this time, his work jumped out at me and screamed for attention.
Dealing with the inner, esoteric and personal aspects of life, David’s
work lives up to his motto: “the duty of an artist lies in making the
metaphysical physical”.

David is an American, born in New Jersey. At a young age he moved to
Taipei, Taiwan and awas there before moving back to the US during his
early teens to Northern California, where he lives to this day. Doing a
sociology degree at Berkeley, after graduation he decided to become an
artist so did another undergraduate degree in Art History and Fine Arts
at San Jose State University. So the sociology degree, and probably the
psychology studies that were part of it, plus the fine art degree has
provided the melting pot from which David creates his art. He works as
a freelance illustrator and graphic designer.

David Ho has been creating these digital fantasies for the past 8 years
now. He creates them for one reason only – to quiet his demons. Making
art is a form of self-therapy for him. He works on the Power Mac
utilizing software like Photoshop, Poser and Bryce. Many of the
textures you see in his works are traditionally created and later
scanned into the computer from his flatbed scanner. His works have
appeared in numerous publications including the Society of Illustrators
annuals, Spectrum Annuals, Design Graphics Portfolio issue, Chicago
Tribune, MacWorld Expo digital gallery, Step-by-Step illustration
annual, Applied Arts illustration annuals and more.

David’s way of working is most interesting. David uses Curious Lab’s
Poser and Corel’s Bryce to create his scenes in 3D. The rendered images
are then taken into Photoshop. Here David drops all the colour out of
his images, by converting to monochrome and then back to colour. Here
he adds textures, which he often paints conventionally and scans on a
flatbed scanner. By working in monochrome at this stage it allows him
to concentrate on composition, texture and lighting without the
distraction of colour. Once David is happy with the result he then hand
paints in colour (so easy to do digitally by painting colour on a
separate layer and setting the blending mode appropriately), taking
care to only enhance the message of the image by the subtle use of

Learning More

For those interested in learning more about his work you can visit his web site at http://www.davidho.com/

David also has a book out of his work, Shadow Maker – the digital art of david ho.

This book is a MUST READ. In 192 pages there are over 100 full colour
illustrations that do a wonderful job of showing his work. Unusually
for a book by a digital artist, David provides a five page step-by-step
guide to how he creates his images. I say unusually because most
artists are pretentious and secretive about how they do their work.
David is a truly nice guy and it comes over in his book. You can learn
a lot from this book.

I would call this one of the must have books of the year. You can buy
it direct from David via his web site www.davidho.com and I notice it
can also be bought from amazon.com. Help an artist who does great work
and buy a copy.

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