Experimental Mixed Media Portraits by Cris Wicks

Hello AIA! My name is Cris Wicks. I love to work in a variety of mediums and I enjoy trying out new materials and styles. Today I am sharing an experimental project I have been working on.


I wanted to make a style of portraiture that was a mix of hand painted elements and digital media. I started out by making several abstract paintings on canvases. I used various types of paints and inks and moved them around the canvases with gravity and air blown through straws. Once the paintings were finished and dry I scanned them and brought them into photoshop. I have included a photo of one of the scanned paintings. To make these portraits I used several of these abstract paintings.

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In photoshop I cut up the paintings into smaller pieces and layered them together to construct a basic and flat silhouette of the face I wanted to make. From here I used a photo as reference and began digitally painting in the shadows and highlights using basic photoshop brushes. Slowly the faces began to emerge from the abstract.

I didn’t know what to expect from these explorations but I was very excited about the end result. I am looking forward to building on this style and evolving it further.

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