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Photographer and mixed media artist Natalie Shau takes inspiration from fashion, jewellery and nature to create intricate pieces of portraiture.

History and Background

Based in Lithuania, Natalie's varied career has seen her lend her artistic talent to a range of projects. These include fashion photography, advertisements and even a stint as an art director for a short film. 

Ideas and Inspirations

Natalie’s debut collection with Castle Galleries draws upon her three biggest inspirations: nature, jewellery and fashion.

She explains: "I love creating mysterious, ghostly portraits. Previously, I created a set of portraits that were inspired forces and elements of nature: storm, snow and ice. 

Nature plays a big part in my work. Flowers, skies, wind, animals and insects...they can all be found in my illustrations. 

My other passion is antique jewellery; Victorian or Art Deco designs always keep me in awe. And my third biggest inspiration is fashion, from modern to historical costumes, including head pieces and wigs.

For this collection, I just had to combine all three of my inspirations in one art piece."

Each of the artworks in Natalie's new collection represents a different precious gemstone: a rare product of nature that has fascinated philosophers, mystics and artists alike for centuries. 

From Palette to Picture

Natalie explains: “To create such portraiture, I need to take dozens of photographs to capture movement and the way light reflects on the hair. The background has to be darker or lighter to create a nice contrast with the specific hair colour that I have chosen.

Then I combine all of the photographs and create the hair halo, using both photos and digital brushes. Only after that do I work on the head of a character, including the small jewels and details.”