Ileana Frómeta Grillo
'Toys' by Ashhar & Envision


I infuse my artwork with conscious and unconscious symbols culled from my upbringing in the lush beauty of the Caribbean and my experience as a woman. My mission is to create a dialog by inviting the observer to unite with a piece and discover his or her own personal meaning. I feel I have succeeded when the viewer makes this connection, and we can both claim the piece as our own.

Prior to discovering digital drawing in 1988, I studied traditional media in her native Caracas and California, including drawing, painting, sculpture, and photography. My first digital project was a children's book, La Bicicleta de Nubes, published in 1995. Today, my work appears in numerous Internet galleries and has been featured in magazine and book publications such as Design Graphics, Agosto, Digital Output, IDEA, EFX, Mastering Digital Printing: The Photographer's and Artist's Guide to High-Quality, Digital Output (Cincinnati: Muska & Lipman, 2002), and Secrets of Award-Winning Digital Artists (Wiley Publishing Inc, 2002) My work has been shown at the 2000 and 2002 MacWorldExpo Digital Art contest, and has also been selected for shows such as the Sawdust Art Festival in Laguna Beach, California, and the "Digitally propelled Ideas" exhibited, curated by Jack Duganne.

Software and creative process

  • Corel Painter 8
  • Photoshop 7 (currently working with Photoshop CS)

All the images submitted followed the same workflow, which can be summarized as follows:

  • The figures begin as pencil sketches, which are scanned and opened in Corel Painter. The figures are painted and modeled using a variety of custom brushes, such as soft chalk, airbrush brush and "add water" tool.
  • Once completed, the figure is layered and opened into Photoshop. I capture digital photos consistent with the theme of the piece and import them-masked, cropped and contrast-enhanced-into the image. Each element becomes a separate layer, which is worked independently using various Photoshop filters, and adjusting the hue/saturation levels.
  • Once the elements are arranged to my satisfaction, I use Photoshop's layer options to blend the images with each other in order to integrate the image into a whole.
  • The final composition is flattened, and opened in Painter in order to rework all the transition areas and to make all the necessary corrections.
  • I usually keep four versions of each image: a layered and a flat version (Photoshop), another one in Genuine Fractals format (I normally work at half the output size, 150dpi), and the final output version (at 300dpi, Photoshop)


Breakfast in Laguna


La Paz


Morning Greeting

Path Ahead


Sarah and the Moon

Time Series

Ying Yang

Ileana Frómeta Grillo
120 Wave Street
Laguna Beach, California, 92651