Jian Wang, an artist from Beijing, China, earned the Pastel Journal Award of Excellence in the 18th Annual Pastel 100 competition with his figural painting, Lipstick.
Vianna Szabo, the juror of the competition’s Portrait and Figure category and a portrait artist herself, had this to say of the work:
“Lipstick is a masterful study in the power of limiting detail in a painting,” says . “The artist makes the viewer focus on what is important by employing more finished areas against areas that are suggested. Letting the arm fade into the rhythmic drawing of the hand holding the mirror keeps us focused on the face and gesture of the woman. The splash of pink in the background suggests atmosphere and light without placing her anywhere in particular. The artist skillfully uses suggestion to involve the viewer in the interpretation of the scene.”
Working From Experience
Wang creates his paintings based on a combination of photographs and live reference. “Before I create the work, I know the theme and have drawn a draft in my mind,” he says. He then works with a model and take numerous photographs, from which he chooses the shot that best matches his conception of the image. When possible the model also poses for him during the painting process, but other times he simply works from his photographs. Wang stresses that he is always drawing from experience in some form, whether the model is present during the painting or not. “I never paint works that I have not experienced,” he says.
To read more about Wang, and to see the full results of this year’s Pastel 100 competition, check out the April 2017 issue of Pastel Journal.
Here are additional pastel portraits painted by the artist:
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