For this project, I choose two artists who both focus on figure drawing and females in particular. The first artist is Miho Hirano, a Japanese artist specializing in oil painting. I first knew her a couple of years ago and fell in love with her work very soon. This young female artist skillfully incorporates elements from nature into portrait of young girls to emphasize and advocate the harmonious relationship between humans and nature. Her choice of color is always calming and clear, creating a soothing vibe. I was extremely inspired by her detailed painting of flowers and plants that surround the girl’s face, which is an idea I really want to try out in my own work. Sometimes it can be a little strange, or creepy when people try to transform part of the human body into plants or animals, but I find her work on the opposite side: her work never makes the viewer uncomfortable and are very easy to appreciate.
The second artist I chose was Itzchak Tarkey, an Israeli artist who also focused on paintings of women. Because I knew one of the artists I chose for the project had to be Miho, I then went to the internet looking for an artist who paints women in a very different way for contrast, and that when I came across Itzchak. He uses very bold, warm-toned colors in his paintings, portraying full-body images of women. He uses big blocks of color instead of detailed painting for his characters, who are also set in relatively complicated background. I also found it interesting that he had a special experience of being in the Nazi concentration camp when he was a kid, which somewhat surprised me. He chooses to not show any negative elements in his painting, let alone any scenes during wartime. All he had was elegant women enjoying their lives in an exquisite environment. I really appreciate how he tried to pass on such a passive message to all his viewers, presented with his straightforward, bright paints.
As for my own work, I wanted to have Miho’s theme of women with nature as the base, while modifying it by adding in more of the traditional Chinese style that I’m familiar with. The key idea I got from Miho was to transform some of the facial features into flowers and plants, and also surround the portrait with other natural elements such as clouds and birds. I took the color choice Itzchak had and made my drawing thick and
warm-toned. I also referred to the makeup style he had in his painting, whereas the original makeup in Miho’s work was very light and flowy.