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

J-P Mauro - published on 11/14/17

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
Facebook - Fair Use

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
Facebook - Fair Use

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
Facebook - Fair Use

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