"It's like trying to draw on a baseball," says San Antonio hair portraitist Rob Ferrel
A Texas barber known for “hair portraits” of celebrities, from Marilyn Monroe to Bryan Cranston, is offering dedicated World Cup fans a brand new look for the tournament.
In the gallery via Reuters below, Rob Ferrel etches Argentine football star Lionel Messi onto the back of a guy’s head, working off of a black and white picture on a mobile phone. In the last frame, he’s creating a more colorful portrait of Mexico’s forward Javier Hernández Balcazar.
The barber has been doing hair portraits for eight years, and uses black and white photos in order to get each shading just right. “I do add a little eye liner or lip liner for color,” he says. “Black eyeliner makes the image pop.”
Ferrel told TIME that most customers at his San Antonio-based Rob the Original Barbershop have been asking for portraits of players on the Mexico and USA teams. USA fans getting ready to watch Tuesday’s match against Belgium may want to check out his portrait of the team’s goalie Tim Howard.
Business gets hectic during most major sports tournaments. Last month, Ferrell said he created a portrait of NBA shooting guard Manu Ginobili, after the San Antonio Spurs clinched their fifth championship.
The trickiest part of the task: navigating the roundness of people’s heads. “It’s like trying to draw on a baseball,” he says. “Like a puzzle, I start working on one section, and then I start adding pieces to it.”