Michael Shapcott: Piercing Gazes

Portrait artist Michael Shapcott has a huge portfolio of exquisite faces, and now is doing a year of one-work-a-day for 365 days. He’s helping raise money to for a full-length drawing/painting tutorial via Kickstarter.  Above: Detail from The Death of Cyrstallina, for a show in California. (See the full size painting, and the story behind it, here.)

-A variety of Shapcott’s work from his Onawa and other series. See more about these faces, here and here.

The Connecticut-based Shapcott is known for his daring color palette and emotionally charged portraits. He starts with highly detailed graphite underdrawings, then paints with colorful washes in oil and acrylics. Many reviewers have noted his aboriginal touches, and Shapcott speaks often about his passion for native North American culture.  Read an extensive interview about his muses, here.

Auburn (my personal favorite)

Shapcott frequently produces time-lapse videos of his paintings, as he did for Girl with the Owl, above. This is a nine-minute video, but well worth watching, especially to see the kitschy inspirational moment that led to this work.

Categories: Painting

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11 replies »

  1. Eyes can be very expressive, and that too with a whole range of emotions. Works of Leon L’hermitte and Van Gogh’s self portraits are great examples of wonderfully suggestive eyes dancing to different emotions than ones depicted here – Melancholy

    In one work of L’hermitte , the toil of the day is made palpable by the empty stare in the eyes of the peasants. It is the stare of one so tired that the mind fails to register what the eye gathers by nature.


    • Fascinating observations. I was not familiar with L’hermitte, so thank you for that. I appreciate you taking the time to leave these interesting comments.


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