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 Zoe Brewer

As an artist, I believe in capturing the resemblance of my subject and achieving realism in the human form, whilst distinguishing my work from its original reference with my personal flair and style. All pieces within this collection take reference from an interactive collaboration with artists, ‘Monthly Beatles’, which posts an archival photo of the band members each month for artists to create their own interpretations. As today’s technology makes it easier for people to take any image and blow it up to use as art, I want my work to stand out, so I put my worth in my quirks and intricacies.   


RED RINGO -- 14cm x 10.2cm   

Gouache on Paper  

This piece was primarily inspired by the Pop Art of the 1950s through the framing of the face with a bold background and sequential strips of colour pointing inward. I drew partially from Dadaist works and aimed to differentiate my piece from other works by limiting my colour palette. By only using primary colours, I brightened the piece's tones and was able to achieve an appearance entirely different from the sourced photograph. I always put the most effort into the resemblance of my subject, and so while there isn't any obvious impasto, the most paint layers were on the face. I spent more time than usual on the hands, as I wanted a range of tones across all the visible skin.    



Gouache on Toned Paper  

This piece is very much a standard gouache painting for myself, apart from the extreme limitations on the palette for the subject, a monochromatic black-and-white photo of George Harrison.  For this piece, I used toned paper and ultramarine gouache to produce subtle mid-tones in the face and hands, which brought a more grey-green hue to the skin. I chose to add sunflowers to the background simply because they are my favourite flower. I like to add to my portraits so that they are more unique than just a copy of a reference. The blue palette gives George a melancholy and wistful aura and the desaturated sunflowers behind him add a bit of warmth and life without it being jarring.    


LITTLE PAUL -- 8.8cm x 9.2cm   

Gouache on Paper  

For this piece, I challenged myself to work on a smaller scale. I decidedly left black out of my palette and opted for a deep purple are my darkest hue. I've always found Paul McCartney very difficult to paint, as I can almost never truly capture his resemblance. However, I am satisfied with the amount of detail I captured in such a small frame, and I think the palette works to make this piece quite striking. This is one of the rare instances in which I didn't add any additional quirks to the work; opting to keep the background relatively simple. With so many tiny details focusing the viewer on the face, I wanted the surrounding area to contrast this by being plain and uninteresting. I also like the watery texture as seen on the right side of McCartney's face, as imperfections in the wash like this distinguish it further from a photograph.  

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