Image: Nicolai Fechin “Portrait of a Woman”
I love portraits! The more I draw and paint faces the more I find each one beautiful. A little trick for capturing likeness: When I look at my model, I ask myself “What is it that makes them unique? What do I like about their look?” Sure enough, the answers come to mind, and I make adjustments. The photoshopped, perfectly symmetrical, line-free faces just don’t do it for me. It’s not reality! Differences make the difference, and here lies beauty.
“Perhaps the mission of an artist is to interpret beauty to people – the beauty within themselves.” Langston Hughes
I was reading some scientific studies about beauty and how different decades and cultures have different tastes. No matter what people find “beautiful” though, studies show that by simply looking at it our brains’ reward circuit is stimulated. That’s the same area activated by good tasting food or pleasant smells. Have you ever felt it was a treat looking at art you love? Now you know why!
“Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” -Pablo Picasso
It’s a good time to allow yourself to see beauty. And if you’re an artist, allow yourself time to capture it. It’ll be a double treat!
What work of art feels like a reward for your brain? Comment below. I’d love to hear from you!