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WATCH: Ewan McClure paints a self-portrait from behind the canvas

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More than seeing through a glass darkly ...

Artist Ewan McClure of Edinburgh, Scotland, specializes in figures and portraits. Watch as he paints his own portrait backwards and through a mirror. While we do acknowledge that this is a “double negative” — because he is painting from behind the canvas his left and right movements are not truly reversed through the mirror — it is no less impressive that the finished work is so recognizably his face.

Ewan calls this the “mirror technique,” a style he says “allows me to paint a larger-than-life portrait while viewing the sitter and painting in alignment.” He filmed this video with the camera behind a two-way mirror, so he wouldn’t have the reflection of the camera to distract him. Ewan displays the technique in another video in which he paints a friend in the same way.

We are blown away by the way he uses a wide brush to bring so much character to a face. When he gets serious he can capture a person’s face as well as any camera.

EWAN MCCLURE
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But what made us fall in love with his style was not the pioneering method, but his attention to detail. Ewan painted this self portrait in 2013.

EWAN MCCLURE
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Well, we guess it happened to be hanging in the background of one of his other portraits, so he repainted it to such a degree that it almost looks like a photoshopped image.

EWAN MCCLURE
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