Painting Bruce Lee

So over a year ago I painted a Christmas present for my mum. Despite how painful the process was, I was inspired to continue, and decided to paint something for my dad (for balance).

The subject of the first piece was David Bowie, who sadly – and ominously – passed away 2 weeks after I finished the painting. Not wanting to tempt fate again, I opted to pick someone who was already well and truly dead – my dad’s hero, Bruce Lee.

In any case this process was even more painful than the last. I started painting early in 2016, and things quickly went awry: the proportions were wrong, the colours were flat and monochromatic. It looked terrible, and I dropped it completely for a solid year. In February of this year I resumed efforts, and decided to largely paint over it. I threw a further 20 hours into the project in the space of a week and finally finished it off.

So below, the final article:

Bruce Lee – by Seb Charrot, 2017 — 18″ by 14″ acrylics

And here is a progress gif:

Bruce Lee Progress
In Progress

Maybe next time I’ll wait less than a year before painting again!



Painting Bowie

My mum used to be a massive David Bowie fan, and for her Christmas I decided to paint her a portrait of Bowie – although sadly not from real life. I didn’t want to be too obvious and paint him with his Ziggy face, so I found a great photograph of him from his blonde years, which I can’t for the life of me find now – I printed off a copy and used that for reference.

I grabbed an acrylic board and bought a whole new set of acrylic paints – given the last time I’d used my old set was 10 years ago, they’d all dried up. I also didn’t really know what I was doing so I set out by sketching some outlines, blocking in some shadows and colours, despairing quite a lot, then refining, refining, refining, until I just couldn’t stand to work on it any longer.

Anyway painting below. I actually think it turned out alright.

Bowie - by Seb Charrot, 2015
Bowie – by Seb Charrot, 2015 — 18″ by 14″ acrylics

I also included a gif of various stages of the painting below. You can see how bad my foundations were, so I think I did well to actually save the painting. The turning point was when I fixed the eyes, and it finally stopped looking like a serial killer wearing David Bowie’s face.

Bowie Painting

Anyway I may try to paint again because it was incredibly rewarding – not least because my mum loved it – but I do have to admit it was a pretty stressful and painful process.


— Seb