WATCH: Artist redraws a photo portrait from scratch in this timelapse


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What, she doesn’t like tattoos?


was wondering that, too. speaking as someone who (seldom does, but) is capable of doing something similar to this on paper, she just marathoned several hours worth of work requiring crazy amounts of concentration. she was probably exhausted. looked like she left it for last, started on it, and said “ehhhh, fuck it.” do. not. blame. her. at. all. also, that tattoo is… a bit corny.

really cool post, though.


Can someone please explain to me the concept behind drawing an exact photorealistic copy of a photograph? I can see that it takes an incredible amount of time and talent and practice, but I’ve never understood why this was a popular obsession. If there was some sort of transformation or reinterpretation happening, I would totally understand. Just making a copy seems only like a way to show off technique without an expression of a whit of creativity, but maybe I’m missing something here.


well, personally I wouldn’t hang it over the sofa or anything. I thought it was just like a tutorial? or a show-off piece?


Thank goodness for that illuminating animated .gif.


The two are nearly identical, but the one on the right is definitely more into me.


When I went to art school we had name for this: tracing


Why would someone paint a realistic bowl of apples? Who wants to look at apples they can’t even eat? Why do musicians play all those boring scales over and over again?

It’s practice. The techniques and eye/muscle memory honed doing something like this carry over to when the artist wants to stretch out into something more creative.


@mariachi: yeh, it’s practice but it doesn’t need to be on the internet. i feel that demo reel material should only be the best you have to offer and show to the world; not practice material. i feel the same way about crappy kinetic type animations. it’s practice not a polished piece. this is no different. the “artist” redrew a photo, great. you don’t have to share it with the world.


What’s the difference between making a photorealistic copy of a person sitting motionless in front of you, and a photorealistic copy of a photo of a person sitting motionless? There seems to be agreement that the former is acceptable.

Practice doesn’t belong on the internet? Have you not seen artists posting sketchbooks, storyboards, untextured models, etc etc?


What does belong on the internet? Please enlighten us.


Hi Jason, I’d like to introduce you to the internet.

Internet, this is Jason. Please be gentle with him, he’s new here.


It is practice, but it’s also advertising. There’s a long tradition of people producing ‘still life’ paintings to, yes, practice portraying a variety of surfaces and translucencies, but also to demonstrate that ability to potential patrons. The world’s top galleries devote rather a lot of hanging space to them.


Because when you draw a live 3d object, there is a ton of skill in seeing what you’re drawing and interpreting what you see in a way that renders on a 2d canvas. When an artist redraws a photograph, that flattening has already happened, and artist is merely copying the photographer’s choice in lens, focus, DOF, etc. I think what I was trying to ask was whether anyone really enjoyed this as art. I personally don’t, but it’s a popular enough obsession that I figured someone could explain what they find appealing in it.

Well, right. And that makes a lot of sense. But personally, I don’t post videos of me doing my guitar exercises because I’m basically practicing for me. It’s an ingredient that goes into my finished works, but it’s just that – only an ingredient. But while very few people would relish watching a video of someone playing scales, people seem to really love these videos, and I find that really interesting.

Just to be clear, it wasn’t me who said that. I would never argue that this doesn’t belong on the internet; I’m genuinely curious about the appeal.


oh, cool. where’d you go?


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