Instead of painting directly on paper, Russell Powell paints realistic portraits directly on his hand, an unconventional surface, with oil paint, then using it as a stamp letting his palm-lines become part of the piece.
American artist Russell Powell has spent thousands of hours perfecting his signature hand-stamp technique. Beautifully detailed works are painted first on the palm of his hand and then stamped onto Hahnemuehle paper, creating a one-of-a kind mono-print. Powell calls his world unique technique “hand stamping”.
Russell’s paintings mostly involve portraits with landscapes or wild animals incorporated, reflecting the deep and intimate relationship of human and nature. Typically, the average painting consists of two main ingredients: paint and a canvas, or even more detached from the artist himself, as a wall, a backdrop, or paper. Russell Powell went further, to eventually include his own body into the process of creation.
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The natural texture of Russell’s hand adds the unique signature to the painting and doesn’t sacrifice the quality or detail. This textured and creased surface isn’t an obstacle for Russell Powell who plays with it by adding intricate details and dramatic shading that gives the paintings a three-dimensional aspect. They almost appear to be weathered from time, an effect that would be incredibly difficult to achieve using traditional methods of painting on canvas. Through his art, Russell Powell tells us that we don’t always have to follow the rules, especially when we’re working creatively.