Paul Roustan, an award-winning body painter from Chicago, has created an absolutely mind-blowing painting of a moth. When you first look at the black-and-white picture, all you can see is a moth with its wings spread out. Nothing looks amiss, not even when you look closely. But after you watch the making-of video, you’re left in a state of mild shock – there is actually a real-life female model hiding in the artwork. Scroll down for the revealing photos and video, but try to find it on your own first.
It was nice of the artist to create the helpful video. Without it, I don’t suppose anyone could have guessed the perfectly camouflaged secret of the painting. The entire image consists of a painted woman standing with her arms folded, against a similarly painted background. Audrey Biernacki, the model, blends into the surroundings so well that it’s impossible to tell her apart. The whole project took Paul seven hours to complete – five to paint the background and two for the model.
“On average, it takes me three hours to paint the entire body,” he said. “This one was a bit more meticulous lining things up, which is why it took so long just for a portion of the body.” Paul predominantly uses airbrushes on his human canvasses. He has been painting people since 2005 ‘out of curiosity’. He used to be an editorial illustrator for and adult magazine, and one day he came up with the idea of painting one of the models for a photo spread. The magazine agreed, and he has been hooked ever since.
“The coolest thing about painting a person is that when they start to move they evolve into a newer artwork, and you can look at it as if someone else painted it,” Paul said. “I’m addicted to that. I think most people can relate to the frustration of not liking your finished artwork. We are all our own toughest critics, the life a model adds to the painting allows you to be a spectator.”
In fact, Paul loves painting humans so much that he wonders why people bother with canvas or paper. “Paper is inanimate and does not respond to conversation,” he said. “I also enjoy finishing a painting within a fixed amount of time. It’s not something I can store away and complete next week.”
This isn’t the first time we’re seeing such amazing body paintings here on OC. Previously, we wrote about Johannes Stoetter, another talented artist who painted a parrot that was actually a woman.