Free styling with an old Elvis mugshot

Instead of painting directly on paper, first-grade school teacher Russel Powell paints realistic portraits directly on his hand, then using it as a stamp. The San Jose-based teacher-artist paints quickly enough that the paint doesn’t dry, letting his palm-lines become part of the piece. Powell calls this process “hand-stamping,” and even incorporates similar art projects into his classes.

Powell has been teaching at the same school for 14 years, and also runs Pangaean Studios. He is a lover of music, having grown up with a dad who’s a Rock n’ Roll/blues guitarist. One of Powell’s favorite things is walking up to his classroom in the morning and listening his friend Jim play piano for the kids at the start of their day.