This painting was created for Thinkspace Gallery’s 15-year retrospective exhibition. It was an open-themed group show celebrating the gallery’s life, and showcased over 70 new works of art. For my contribution I wanted to focus on my portrait series that I started years ago. The Mauve Girl is my interpretation of the modern Vietnamese woman, painted with acrylic and coloured pencil on wood panel.
The reason I began the series of portrait work was so that I could focus on colour exploration, floral design and the female gaze. For this portrait I wanted to express my heritage by depicting the Vietnamese woman in a non-traditional light. The painting juxtaposes the everyday female in a modern, translucent áo dài dress with lotus flower tattoos and brightly coloured hair. I kept her expression and demeanour soft while contrasting it with the harsh black lines of the tattoos.
Portrait painting is both complex and simple. Because there’s not a lot of components within it, I have to make sure the facial expression and subtleties of her mannerism are handled with care. The better I treat these little nuances, the more of her essence I’m able to capture.
How I create…
A FIGURE IN WATERCOLOUR AND PENCILS
1 Portrait preliminaries
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