Portrait painting is one craft that requires maximum skill from an artiste for great results to be obtained and to be attractive.
Many great artistes from Leonardo da Vinci, Frida Kahlo, Caravaggio, Salvador Dali, have all managed to establish successful careers and earned a living from portrait painting.
Even South Africa-based-Zimbabwe born artiste Lebani Sirenje, known as Rasta The Artiste, is making a killing on his controversial drawings.
This is something that up-and-coming portrait artiste Nkosiphile Witness Ncube (24) also wants to achieve through his gift.
Born and raised in Gwabalanda, Ncube revealed that he developed the passion for painting while he was at primary school.
“I discovered my passion for art when I was in grade three at Ifusi Primary school in Gwabalanda. When I was in grade four, some of my works were displayed at the school’s administration offices.
“However, by then, my parents warned me not to dwell on art, but focus more on education and as a child I had to comply, you know how parents can be sometimes,” said Ncube.
The artiste, who is currently pursuing his degree in Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering at the National University of Science and Technology (NUST), said the Covid 19 lockdown has made him come back and fully focus on portrait painting.
He has done portraits for local celebrities including Mzistoz Mfanafuthi and Khulumani FM’s duo of Cde Phil and
He also drew a portrait to honour NUST Vice Chancellor Professor Mqhele Dlodlo.
“I just got back and started doing more of art during the first Covid 19 lockdown because I had more time to fully focus on painting. I was surprised to find out that my fingers could still do magic after taking a seatback.
“I have managed to craft portraits for a number of local celebrities and I am impressed with the outcomes and responses from people. I am looking forward to do more portraits in honour of local people who foster social change in our community,” said Ncube.
From all the portraits he has painted, hyper realism motivates him and his works are inspired by Nigeria artiste Arinze Stanley.
“Hyper realism is what inspires me. Breathing life onto a paper with my hand is something that a machine can just do within a second, but something touches the soul of the beholder (painter) in a different way and that makes my works unique.
“Arinze Stanley is a guru of Hyper realism drawing, this is where my inspiration comes from because his artworks really touch my soul,” said Ncube.