For the past four years, 16-year-old artist Shania McDonagh has participated in the Texaco Children’s Art Competition, an art contest for children in Ireland held every year since 1955. Just looking at the astounding portrait above, it may come as no surprise that McDonagh has won the top prize for her age category every year since she was 12, and today snagged the top prize for the 2014 competition with this hyperrealistic drawing of a man titled Coleman.
The judging panel chairman, Declan McGonagle, director of the National College of Art & Design, remarked that the girl’s work could position her “as one of the most talented artists of her generation, and one whose skill could see her become one of Ireland’s foremost portrait artists of the future.” We would be inclined to agree.
For her talent McDonagh snagged a $2,075 (€1,500) award which she will receive next month. You can read more and catch a video over at The Irish Times. (via PICDIT)
Update: The original photo was taken by James Fennell, depicting fisherman and seaweed harvester Coleman Coyne.
As a way to temporarily break free from a routine of personal and commercial projects, photographer Romain Laurent (previously) challenged himself to create a looped animated portrait each week since last September. He says the bizarre and often laugh-out-loud experiments are a low-pressure way to experiment and be creative without expectations. “As far as the intention of the series, it’s a way for me to explore a hybrid medium, experiment and being spontaneous while still sticking to a short weekly deadline. There isn’t a common concept between each loop, I just ‘go with the flow’ and see what comes to my mind each week.” You can see many more loops from the series over on his Tumblr. (via Lustik)
Milan-based artist Thomas Cian is extraordinarily talented with a pencil, and lucky for us he has chosen to open the pages of his sketchook to share a wide variety of drawings and experiments online. Of particular note is his Moleskine sketchbook reserved solely for drawings of friends, where the 24-year-old renders faithful interpretations of individuals closest to him using nothing but graphite. You can see much more of his work on Behance and over on Facebook.
Peak District, 2013. Pencil on a contoured map of the Peak District. 47 x 35in (120 x 90cm)
Colorado Geological, 2013. Pencil on a geological map of Colorado, the first of a series of works exclusive to the Mike Wright Gallery in Denver, Colorado.
Bristol Envelope, 2013. A small portrait, produced in ink on an original street map of Bristol (UK) – this was later cut and folded to form an envelope, combining the current map works produced by Fairburn and a previous project—postal art.
Yr Ods EP Cover, 2013. Pencil on contoured maps showing parts of Wales, produced for Welsh Band Yr Ods.
Shrewsbury, 2013. Progress shot, ink on a street map of Shrewsbury.
Innsbruck, 2013. Ink on a contoured map of Innsbruck/surrounding area, 20 x 20in (52 x 52cm) approx. Lines of elevation have been followed with a pen, the width of each line has been altered accordingly to build the different tones.
Pontypridd, 2013. Pencil on a contoured map of Pontypridd, South Wales (UK).
Solihull, 2013. Progress shot of a past experiment in inks.
Using a wide variety of canvases including railroad blueprints, star charts, geological and street maps, Welsh artist Ed Fairburn (previously here and here) uses additive and subtractive techniques to create portraits that seem pefectly integrated with the topography of streets, mountains and rivers. It’s been almost a year since we last checked in with Fairburn whose process and approach to creating these stunning portraits continues to evolve. One of his most striking methods is to carefully follow map contours with a pen creating rows of lines that vary by width to create individual forms and shadows. The final portraits are so entwined with the map, it becomes hard to imagine one existing without the other.
You can see Fairburn’s work for yourself at Mike Wright Gallery in Denver, Colorado and he also has prints available here.
Artist Samantha French was born raised in Minnesota where she attended the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and now lives and works in Brooklyn. Her current body of work explores nostalgic memories from her childhood spent swimming in lakes of northern Minnesota. The underwater portraits portray people both in and out of water in the midst of perfect tranquil moments captured gracefully with oil paints. She says of her work:
My current body of work is focused on swimmers underwater and above. Using vague yet consuming memories from my childhood summers spent immersed in the tepid lakes of northern Minnesota, I attempt to recreate the quiet tranquility of water and nature; of days spent sinking and floating, still and peaceful. These paintings are a link to my home and continual search for the feeling of the sun on my face and warm summer days at the lake. They are my escape, a subtle reprieve from the day-to-day. At the same time, I am drawn to an idealistic time before my own, where swim caps and wool swimsuits were commonplace. This combination of memory, observation and photography has allowed me to preserve the transitory qualities of water and remembrance.
Photographer Christoffer Relander (previously here and here) returns with the third installment of his beautifully executed multiple exposure photographs that blend aspects of nature with portraits of people. Titled We Are Nature Vol. III, the series continues the Finnish photog’s experimentation with layering images in-camera using his Nikon D800, without the use of Photoshop. Prints available on request.
Street artist RONE recently completed work on this great five-story mural on building facade at Nollendorfplatz in Berlin. The artist is known for straddling the line between beauty and decay by creating large-scale depictions of idealized portraits that appear perfectly composed at a distance, but a closer inspection reveals signs of deterioration and imperfection. You can see more photos of this piece over on photographer Henrik Haven’s Tumblr and see more work by RONE here. All photos courtesy Henrik Haven.
Update: According to Complex the face used in his latest piece is that of fashion model Teresa Oman as a part of Project M with Strychnin Gallery.