• Evelyn Curry Art

People Being Portraits: Zulu Man


I started the series, People Being about a year and a half ago, in watercolor on paper. And, while, I’m still continuing with this series; I have branched out developing an oil painting series. The subjects are still people I have photographed along my travels, doing what people do: be in their space, their home. The variances, however, stop there.


I am not repainting any person, or people I have already painted in watercolor. As well, I am turning the oil painting series into head and shoulders portraits with minimal background or surroundings. This is very unlike the watercolor series. The watercolor series was very much about the people/ person with a sense of their space around them. Without intent, this most recent portrait, entitled People Being: Portrait Zulu Man, is a sepia, or limited color palette painting; similar to Man In Turban oil painting (same size, same materials, not my own photograph).


People Being: Portrait Zulu Man works well with a limited color palette due to the high contrasts and stark natural lighting. The photo was taken of a Zulu man re-enacting a courting dance at a Pha-Zulu village near Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, February 2013. With many more portraits to come in the People Being: Portrait series, I am undecided at this moment if all will follow suit and keep with the restricted color palette. I am inclined to think not, though. Check out the progression and development of People Being: Portrait, Zulu Man.


I like the pause; a moment not acting, or re-enacting the tribal dances to educated and entertain visitors. The audience’s attention is focused on the young girl being courted, not the courter. For a second, he is outside of the show, waiting; as himself.

#people #watercolor #painting #oilpainting #portrait #canvas #paper #travel #PheZuluNatal #SouthAfrica #brown #black

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