Raheem Nelson

My Approach to Realism

Welcome to my blog! In this post I will be talking about how I create portraits on iPad.

I enjoy different types of art. It keeps me invested in my craft and challenges me as an artist. Realism to me is a side project. (since the majority of my art that I market is pop art) Portraits are a big time commitment and it requires focus. I enjoy doing them but I think what works best for me is to create realistic portrait paintings once in a blue moon. Likenesses are extremely important with my portrait work. It absolutely has to have a strong resemblance to the subject. Whether it’s a friend, family member or celebrity it’s all the same to me. Details go hand in hand with capturing the essence of a person.

Sometimes I forget how much I train my eyes to not only look for details in a subject but to replicate that in my own style. When I look at a person or a reference photo I immediately break up the features into shapes. That helps me paint the figure and not be overwhelmed with detail. I’m willing to spend hours on end rendering freckles, eyebrows, and facial hair. It’s the little details that create a compelling portrait. That’s what I strive for with each new piece. Check out the photos of my workflow to get a better understanding.

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