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CopyCat Nat #5: werriston

The April edition of my painting series is here! I tried something new this time, read on to find out more about it.

Photo by werriston

With my busy schedule, it’s been a little difficult getting to my series. It took me a while to decide which photo I would paint this time. As usual, I was browsing Lomography with the intent to find something new and more challenging. While scrolling through a good friend’s lomohome (werriston) I stumbled upon a photo of a gorgeous girl. Even with her sunglasses and shadows covering most of her face, it was easy to see that she was beautiful. Surrounded by darkness, it seemed as if she was the source of brightness that resonated from the photo. The telltale spots told me that I had found a Polaroid photo. I thought to myself, “Nick (”werriston":http://www.lomography.com/homes/werriston) has done it again, I’ve found yet another beautiful portrait of a woman in his lomohome." So it was decided, this would be the one.

Without the gesso that is traditionally used under oil paint to prevent the oil from soaking into the paper, I had to use photo paper again. It was quite difficult to paint on this, as the paint does not stay on the slippery surface well. But I decided to go ahead and use it anyway.

Starting with the usual edges and corners, I blackened almost the entire square, leaving the area with the girl untouched. I wanted to get the tint of darkness just right, so I played around with some reds and browns until it was close enough.

Now for the hard part; the main subject. In the photo, her skin tone was an orange-yellow color. But I wanted to try something new..rather than focusing on detail, I wanted to get the general image to look like the photo. I’ve realized that the more I focus on the small things, the less the painting resembles the photo. So I laid on the paint, more than usual and got down to business.

Forehead. Glasses. Shadows. Cheek. Nose. Upper lip. Highlights. Lower lips. Low lights. Neck. Hair. Shoulders. Jacket. T-shirt….hands. Weirdly enough, the fingers were the most difficult part to paint. I would attribute that to the large amount of paint I had used and also the surface. The paint kept slipping around and mixing together. A huge annoyance.

Eventually, I got around it by fixing the highlights and adding in the cup. Last of all were the spots and minor color shifts in the corners. Some green, some red. And lots of tiny dots.

Finally I was done, taking longer than I thought but happy with the new way I had decided to paint. It was more of a "don’t think, just paint’ attitude if you will. Hope you all like it!

Paintings and words by Natalie Fong. Originally from Taipei, Taiwan. Natalie now lives in Honolulu, Hawaii. Read more of the CopyCat Nat series.

written by natalieerachel


  1. natalieerachel


    @werriston Hope you like it!

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  2. arienvalo


    This is gorgeous! Love it.
    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  3. dearjme


    You are brilliant.

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  4. feelux



    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  5. natalieerachel


    @arienvalo Thank you!

    @dearjme Aww thanks love :)

    @feelux Thanks!

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  6. werriston


    I LOVE IT! WOW :) Sorry I've been MIA for so long... xx

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  7. natalieerachel


    @werriston Aww good, and yes! I've missed seeing your new photos too :(

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  8. bsdunek


    If you have trouble with the paint adhering to the slick surface, spray it first with Krylon Clear Mat spray. It gives some 'tooth'. You can also use artist pencils, crayons, etc. on photos.

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  9. natalieerachel


    @bsdunk Oh thank you!! I haven't had time to go down to the art supply store, but I'll remember that :)

    over 2 years ago · report as spam

Read this article in another language

This is the original article written in: English. It is also available in: 日本語 & Português.