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You Won't Believe These Perfect Portraits Are Actually Body Art

Asks first grade teacher Russell Powell, who needs canvas panels when you have your palm?

by Nathaniel Ainley
Jul 13 2017, 2:39pm

Images courtesy of the artist.

While you're stuck painting directly onto paper, Russell Powell is producing remarkably detailed portraits directly onto his hand. The first grade teacher from San Jose, California is creating a unique kind of body art that involves painting an image onto the palm of his hand and then pressing it to canvas, leaving behind a surprisingly well-preserved imprint. This way, the outline of his hand and creases in his palm become intrinsic part of the artworks themselves. He's coined this technique "hand-stamping."

Several of his timelapse videos reveal a fairly straightforward process: putting down a background layer and then flushing out his portrait through meticulous shading. The trick here is to finish the piece before the paint drys. Powell uses black, gray, and white oil paint to create starkly realistic portraits of models, famous musicians, and inspirational figures. Check out more of his works below:

Check out more by Russell Powell on Instagram and Facebook.

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