How this Ontario artist created a hyper-realistic painting of her dad

Kit King won the Kingston Prize People's Choice Prize this week for a hyper-realistic portrait of her father, the man who inspired her to become an artist. On Instagram, the Curran, ON artist documented the creation of her stunning painting. Watch how she brought the picture to life.

Watch as Kit King paints Pa, the portrait that won her the Kingston Prize people's choice award

Kit King's painting Pa, a portrait of the artist's father, is the winner of the Kingston Prize Association's People's Choice Prize. (Instagram/@kit_king)

The 2015 Kingston Prize exhibition just left Fredericton's Beaverbrook Art Gallery, but this week, museum-goers chose their favourite piece in the show. Kayla (Kit) King is the winner of their People's Choice Prize for Pa, a portrait of her father in oils.

"My father and I have not always been as close as we could be," King writes on the Kingston Prize website. "Yet despite this divide, he has been the predominant artistic influence in my life. Being an artist himself, my earliest memories are of me standing at his works in awe," she continues.

These days, King's the one with an audience. With 326,000-plus followers on Instagram, we imagine that for every double-tap, someone is slack-jawed in awe, staring at the hyper-realistic paintings and sketches in her feed, including those she creates in collaboration with her husband, Oda Popp. 

Last year, as Pa took shape, the artist documented the project from her studio in Curran, Ont., a rural community about an hour outside of Ottawa.

King captured the work in progress from its initial stages...

Through to moments of sleepless inspiration...

And despite the painstaking work involved, she kept her sense of humour while sharing status updates on her progress.

(For the record, she's right. Pa's totally wearing the lipstick from that old Friends episode...)

When commenters started accusing King of digital trickery, she responded with detail-oriented videos like this one. If there's any doubt Pa is a painting, seeing (on Instagram) is believing...

Once the piece was finally complete, King revealed the painting to the real-life Pa.

Watch his reaction...

"I painted this piece as a way to connect with my father through expressive impression, and to express my gratitude for his significant creative impact throughout the years," King writes. "A 'thank you' for all he's taught me, which will hopefully reach him in the same deep sense that his art has reached me."

Social media can be so much more than selfies and viral videos — it's increasingly becoming a scratch pad for emerging artists and other creative minds to show off their latest work. Artstagram curates the best visual talent on Instagram, helping bring a little more art into your daily feed.


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