After a number of paintings in oil, my technique improved to the level that people would come out with the classic "Wow, that looks like a photo!" But, like the true perfectionist I am, I wasn't completely happy. The first painting that I did that I considered to be photo-realistic was a self-portrait I produced for my Art Foundation Final Show. Soon after I discovered Digital Art through Adobe Photoshop and the Wacom Tablet. I went through the same learning curve with Digital as I had with Oils and soon was able to paint just as well on the screen.
Ok, so why did I choose Rihanna? Well, I was really intent on producing a photo-realistic painting digitally and the image had to be really sharp to pull it off. So I started searching the web for Hi-Res portraits and I found this really sharp photo of Rihanna. It captured individual hairs and skin details that would be really difficult to paint and had good lighting and background color.