Having the skills to paint realistically is impressive on its own, but artist Iantha Naicker takes it a step further by painting three-dimensional subjects onto her own hand. Holding the paint brush with her right hand and using her left hand as her canvas, the artist not only showcases her talent, but her incredible patience. From a miniature panda wrapped around her finger to koi fish “swimming” on her palm, each finished work looks like an incredibly realistic creature or object in her hand.
Naicker’s idea came from the desire to paint on something alternative to paper or canvas. “I’m always looking for something new, something different, so I think I try to find material in everyday life that I can use—and nature is a big source of inspiration for me,” she reveals. But painting on her own hand is no easy feat. “It’s a little harder to sketch onto my palm because the surface is soft,” she explains. “So I’ll have a rough sketch on a piece of paper and use this to guide me.” Despite the challenge, Naicker manages to create a variety of hand-painted characters and objects onto her left hand, complete with clever shadows and perspective so that they appear 3D.
Naicker uses a mix of watercolor pencils and water-based paint so that her artwork doesn’t irritate her skin and can be washed off easily. However, the talented artist doesn’t just use her hand as her canvas—she also experiments on other unusual surfaces. “I enjoy testing out different surface textures—something soft like a palm compared to something bumpy like a piece of tree bark,” she explains. “But I also like working on different sized surfaces—for example, practicing getting detail right on a really small seashell.”
Scroll down to check out Naicker’s impressive hand paintings and to see even more from her ever-growing portfolio, make sure to follow the artist on Facebook.