Drawing with Fabric: Benjamin Shine’s Tulle Portraits

British artist Benjamin Shine draws hyper-realistic faces using only tulle. No brushes, sprays or palettes are used; Shine only relies on an iron to shape the tulle and create surprising veiled shades that give shape, depth, and detail to his faces. It almost seems like people portrayed are trapped in the work; the transparent qualities of this fabric give the portraits greater consistency and realism.

Shine studied fashion design at the Surrey Institute of Art and Design and at the Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in London; this designer background provided him with great knowledge on how to manipulate the fabric. With the warm touch of the iron, it folds the fabric, slowly transforming it into human faces. In this way he creates portraits of celebrities such as Elisabeth Taylor, Andy Warhol, Lady Diana and many others.

His talent soon became known outside the art world, so much that works of Benjamin Shine attracted customers from every sector: Barclays, MTV, Eurostar, Deutsche Bank, Coca-Cola, Google and Bergdorf Goodman. Benjamin has received Courvoisier Future 500 Art & Design Award, Red Dot Design Award, and Enterprising Young Brit Award. Recently he collaborated with Maison Margiela Artisanal Couture Collection for the creation of a dress.