What goes in a portrait? A look at Victor's process

Meditiation -Portrait by Victor Mavedzenge

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Portraits from the imagination

Victor Mavedzenge talks about creating fictitious portraits.

" When I create a fictional /fantasy portrait, I am aiming at capturing an emotion, a deep feeling that the viewer can recognize. This is pretty challenging because what I am essentially going for is a look that is universally understood and agreed upon. I think I achieved that with meditation where I hoped to achieve a serene look. The look someone has when they have been through a thousand storms and learned to be calm and strong."

-Meditation is a small painting measuring only 8 inches x 8 inches.


Sketch for an acrylic painting- timelapse

Sketching for a real life portrait.

Interviewer: How do you approach a real portrait? What is the difference in approach between real and imagined portraits?

Victor Mavedzenge : "Well, the real portrait only poses two questions for me really, one is, should it be painted realistically or in my abstract style, the second is based on what the client wants so there is a bit of dialogue before I embark on a real life portrait. In both cases I have to capture a likeness to the individual I am drawing. With my abstract/fiction portraits, I just go with the feeling, I like the feeling to dictate the brush stroke and then the brush stroke dictates the feeling...its a circle you see...

Hella Mad

"Hella Mad"
"Hella Mad" | Source

Examples of a "feeling"portrait -Hella Mad

Interviewer:Can you talk about one of your fictitious portraits that portrays a feeling opposite to Meditation?

Victor : Yes, When I first came to the Bay Area I heard the phrase "Hella mad" quite a bit. "Hella" is an adverb for "extremely" and it is very popular in Oakland. So the painting tried to capture that .

Portrait used for Book cover

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Dambudzo Marechera

Realistic portrait of Dambudzo Marechera.

Interviewer: Tell us more about this portrait.

Victor: "This portrait was commissioned when I was living in England. It was to commemorate Dambudzo Marechera. He is one of Zimbabwe's best writers. He passed away in 1987 in his 30's.I tried to capture his glory by giving the portrait a lot of light in the background. The portrait has a sculptural look to it. With this I intended to create an immortal feel"

Victor Mavedzenge is a Zimbabwean artist based in Oakland California
Victor Mavedzenge is a Zimbabwean artist based in Oakland California | Source

The Artist

"Victor Mavedzenge was born in Zimbabwe.He studied fine art at The Slade School of fine Art in 2008-2010 where he earned his Masters of Fine Arts degree.He currently lives and works in Oakland California." -from his website.

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