Portraits & Figures

Artsy Shark presents a photo article featuring the work of artists who focus on the human figure, and portraiture. Enjoy and share!


The Thinker

“The Thinker” Oil on linen, 24″ x 30″


Artist Maria Bennett Hock presents this pensive portrait, saying, “I love painting emotional pieces that tell a story… it is important that the painting be read… each element of the portrait is essential to the story.”


For Now I See Through a Mirror Dimly

“For Now I See Through a Mirror Dimly”, oil/ mixed media on canvas, 1200 mm x 1200 mm


This fractured portrait is by Grace Bailey, who explains, “The veil represents the internal and external influences that define the way we see ourselves and the place we have in the world. Societal pressures, cultural expectations and self perception all impact our self esteem and self actualization.”


She The Flowering Of Ishtar

“She The Flowering Of Ishtar” oil on canvas, 72″ x 36″, 2012


Artist Roger Williamson combines surreal imagery, saying, “If we don’t create our own reality we are condemned to live in someone else’s.”


Claude's Dream

“Claude’s Dream” Oil on stretched canvas, 16″ x 20″


In this nod to the famous Impressionist, painter William O’Connor explains, “Monet dreamt.  Of mesdemoiselles on the promenade with parasols in Provence. He dreamt of roads to nowhere, chessboards and sleeping beauties. But mostly he dreamt of flowers, always the flowers.”



“Insight” Oil on canvas, 2009


Portrait artist Vanessa Morris shares this image of a commissioned work. “I was delighted to paint Barbara Wilkinson as an example of an interesting expression. Barbara is neither happy or sad, so what is she thinking? I named the piece ‘Insight’.”


Matrix - Native American

“Matrix – Native American” photograph, sizes vary


Photographer Serge Matsko‘s portfolio includes many portraits. He shares, “The human face is a most attractive and most sophisticated object in our daily kaleidoscope of images, colors, broken sound and faraway dreams. The artist’s simple task is just to catch a moment when a random face in the crowd suddenly becomes emotional, full of human spirit, sorrow or joy of life.”


Lying in Pink

“Lying in Pink” acrylic on canvas, 16” x 20”


Iris Low takes a page from daily life in this portrait. She states, “This work is inspired by teenage selfies that are taken, I believe, as a way of trying to figure themselves out or to show the world who they are. Fascinating phenomenon. It is based on a selfie of my daughter.”



“Bliss” Acrylic on canvas, 50 cm by 110 cm


Capturing a special smile, painter Leisa O’Brien explains, “My son was unaware this photo was being taken. How could I not suspend a moment of pure joy on canvas and share it with others?”


Reverse Vectors

“Reverse Vectors” Oil Pastel, Acrylic & Resin on Gessoboard, 30″ X 40″ X 2″


Artist Elizabeth Yarie paints a figure in motion, and explains, “My work has been a channel of communication, first as a dancer and now as a painter.  I have always loved the aesthetic and bending of physical reality.”



“Laura” oil, 40″x 30″


Andrea Cleall shares a portrait of someone she knows well. “This is my daughter Laura in a pensive mood,” she says, “I find it interesting to capture not only a likeness but also a personality trait.”


Hey Rita

“Hey Rita” Marker, color pencil, ink wash, pen & ink on drawing paper, matt board & foam board, 15″ x 19″


A femme fatale and fantasy influenced artist Nate Russell in creating this portrait. He says, “This surreal Rita Hayworth portrait was inspired by a Local H song of the same title, and dark melancholy beauty.”


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