He took a long look in the mirror, got the next stroke on. It was perfect. The self portrait was taking form, looking more alive than anything he’d ever painted before, anything he’d ever seen. Every new stroke made it better, every next step made it more real.
He studied every little detail in the mirror, every little colour, every last wrinkle, every shadow. It looked real. More than real. More real than reality itself.
It was all done. Just a little bit more on the eyes, the most important part. They came alive, like if they had a mind of their own. Like if the man staring out on him from the canvas was the real him.
He realised he could not move. He could see the man in the painting, himself, paint the last little detail on his canvas. Then he moved away from the canvas, studied him for a while.
-Perfect, he said, before he put his paint brush down and walked away.