Shawn’s love and fascination for drawing came as an unexpected gift from his grandfather at the age of 5. Young Faust was a tag-a-long during his grandfather’s impromptu plein air art lesson with his older brother in the back yard of his Aunt’s house. A retired director for the American Red Cross, Shawn’s grandfather, who had only recently picked up the brush himself, began a charcoal sketch that would forever change how Faust would see the world. From that brief lesson, Faust recalls vividly, “The techniques I witnessed from my grandfather that day, were pure magic!”
With his newfound gift of magic, Shawn quickly began practicing his art of 3D illusion for anyone who wanted to see it. During his childhood, you would be hard pressed not to find Shawn doodling on a piece of paper at some point during the day. Among his favorite things to draw as a youngster were his comic book heroes. Instead of reading the comics, he spent all his time studying the line work and muscle forms of the comic book characters. And so, began his interest in portraying the human form.
Upon entering college at the University Of Delaware, Shawn enrolled as an accounting major yet emerged with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in 1990. At the U of D he is forever grateful for the privilege of studying under distinguished artists Stephen Tanis, Charles Rowe, Robert Straight and Rosemary Lane.
Shortly after graduating, Shawn embarked on a career in Illustration. By 1993 he had quickly become one of Delaware’s prominent architectural illustrators working for more than 75% of the homebuilders in Delaware.
Between illustration jobs, Shawn pursued his interest in portrait painting. In 1992 Faust was commissioned to paint the official portrait of outgoing Delaware Governor, Michael Castle. Continuing his quest to learn more about portrait painting, Faust studied with Daniel Greene in 1995. He credits Daniel Greene for giving him the greatest key to unlocking a whole new way of seeing and interpreting color.
By 1995, Shawn’s portrait commissions and easel paintings were supporting him as much as his illustration jobs, so he decided to focus entirely on his fine art career. This included opening a gallery and custom frame shop with his wife and brother. During the twelve years of owning and operating the gallery, Shawn continued his intense portrait research by focusing his studies on the eyes of his favorite subject, the horse.
His head studies of horses caught the attention of Mr. Richard Golden, a prominent horse owner in Chesapeake City, MD and president of Northview Stallion Station. Northview is best know for standing Northern Dancer, one of the greatest thoroughbred stallions of all time. Mr. Golden commissioned Shawn to paint some of his prized thoroughbreds, including Polish Numbers and Tenski. As a result, news of his work spread throughout the Mid Atlantic Region and he was busy traveling to many different tracks and farms to perform portraits of some of the top thoroughbred in the country.
Faust is currently recognized as one of the premier equine artists in America. He is a founding member of the Portrait Society of America and a Full member to the American Academy of Equine Art as well as an Associate member of OPA (Oil Painters of America). His work hangs in many prestigious corporate and private collections.
Education and Background:
1990 - BFA University Of Delaware,
1996-present - Faust Studio - Fine art, portraits and landscapes
1995-2007 - Owner of The Artistic “i” Gallery - original art, prints, and full service custom framing
1990-1995 - Owner of Faust Illustrations - freelance illustrator