From on friends’ cards to framed in offices – junior’s Korean-style portrait series gets community recognition

Junior Grace Naify recently finished a 10-piece portrait series.

Naify has been working on the series since late October. She was inspired by a Korean artist she found on Instagram, @hellena_illust.

It began with her painting a portrait for junior Chloe Collinwood and a birthday card for junior Monique Lonergan.

“A lot of my (portraits in the beginning) looked like hers, but toward the end they evolved into my own style,” Naify said.  

The first portrait in the series is of senior Lea Gorny.

“The day I brought the card in for Monique (with her portrait), Lea was like ‘I want one!’ So I made the very first piece (in the series) to look like her,” Naify said.

 The rest, she said, are either people from her imagination or models she saw on Instagram whose features she changed a bit.

Naify said that the time it took for her to finish each portrait varied. Her first piece took  an hour and a half in total, including drying time. Subsequent pieces took longer because she made them more detailed. At the end she was spending two or three hours on the pieces.

Naify said she used a variety of art media to create the paintings. The majority were done in watercolor, although a couple pieces also have colored pencil.

“I (also used white) paint pens to highlight the hair, the lips or the eyes,” Naify explained.  

Naify said she is done with this series for now, but she wants to start a new one soon.

”I might do a series studying traditional Asian clothing, specifically headdresses.” said Naify  

Naify said she was inspired by a picture of traditional clothing of the Hmong people, an ethnic group in Asia.

 Naify’s portraits have even earned her some potential customers.

People who have seen her portraits, either in person or on her Instagram account, have asked her to paint ones for them, which she said she will start soon.  

While people have offered to pay for their portraits, Naify said she might not accept it to gain exposure.

Along with being posted on her personal Instagram account, Naify’s portraits are hung up on the wall in the front office. For now the portraits are going to stay in the office because Naify said she doesn’t want to separate the pieces.

Although Naify said she is proud of her work and its publication, she added that she would have modified some aspects of the portraits.

“I would change some of the expressions, and I would touch them up with some more detail,” she said.

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—By Kristine Schmitz

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