Bag Gal Riri - Digital Art Painting

Personal, 2020

Portrait of Barbadian singer, actress, fashion designer, and businesswoman, Robyn Rihanna Fenty. This hand-drawn digital painting depicts Rihanna in a close-up portrait with a nude backdrop, symbolizing edge and inclusivity. I focus merely on her face, creating an intimate viewing space to observe and embrace the details of her face: having a melanated complexion, slinky side-swept pixie cut, and Afrocentric facial features.

The Story

Rihanna blew open and addressed the unrealistic Eurocentric beauty standards and blatant lack of diverse representation. Using her powerful vehicle of makeup, Fenty Beauty, connected emotionally with women who had long been treated as though they didn't exist by the beauty industry. She provided a wide variety of darker shades of Fenty Beauty foundations, which sold out first, teaching brands that without an inclusivity strategy, they have no growth strategy.

The Progress

As a foundation, I drew a line drawing while referencing a photograph. Separately, I outlined and filled in the shapes of the neck, face, hair, lips, and eyes. Then, this is where the fun begins! I go between shading, highlighting, and smoothing each part of Rihanna's face. I used airbrush brush tools and very few textured brushes, focusing on maturing my drawing style. Emphasizing her melanated complexion, I applied nude coloring through her makeup and the background.