Phan Dang Hoang, a 16-year-old artist from the north-central Vietnamese province of Nghe An, has dedicated himself to the art of drawing portraits that transmit the charisma of the subject through realistic renditions of their expressions.
The eleventh grader from Huynh Thuc Khang High School in Vinh City, Nghe An's capital, was even featured in the December issue of U.S. magazine Colored Pencil for his works.
Hoang had a brush with drawing at the age of three, and has since trained himself to draw ‘truyen than’ (charisma transmitting) portraits with his full passion.
This style of drawing is similar to photorealism in the sense that it looks to replicate as closely as possible the full emotion and expression, or the ‘charisma’, of the subject.
While photorealistic artists attempt to reproduce a photograph as realistically as they can, truyen than artists focus their attention primarily on reproducing the personality of their subjects rather than every detail.
“Every profession requires passion,” Hoang told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper. “I’ve fallen in love with these drawings and seen them as my ideal life. The moment I pick up the pencil is always the best moment of my life.”
Hoang said he could only draw portraits of those that inspired and “catalyzed” him, as only then “could an artist let [his] soul roam free into drawing”.
The 16-year-old artist often rejects money from those who paid him and draws for free for those without a penny to their name.
As a perfectionist, Hoang would spend up to a month finishing a single portrait, and has until now drawn over 50 portraits, mostly of Vietnamese celebrities.
“I spend a lot of time and effort on each of my works,” Hoang said in the Colored Pencil article. “They consume me. There can’t be one wrong detail.”
A portrait of Vietnamese singer Thu Minh by Phan Dang Hoang
A portrait of Vietnamese singer Ho Ngoc Ha by Phan Dang Hoang
Phan Dang Hoang and his drawing of Miss Universe Vietnam Pham Huong
Phan Dang Hoang and his drawings