Standing Head and Shoulders Above

British artist Steve Payne marries 17th-century Russian general portraiture with our current celebrity-obsessed culture… with remarkable results. He uses digital copies of Napoleon-era portraits by English portraitist George Dawe, then quite seamlessly photoshops celebrity heads on top. “One thing I’ve always wanted to try is to incorporate someone into a painting, mimicking the painterly brush strokes and making everything fit and work nicely and look natural and stuff,” Payne says. “There’s an art to head swapping, I’ve seen so many awful attempts. The most important things to consider are anatomy, perspective and lighting. If you can get those things right, you’re more than halfway there. My artistic ability serves me well with this stuff, I can just tell if something looks wrong.” Just a small sample below, be sure to check them all out.



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