Takashi Saito loves faces. There are over 2000 images on his Flickr page and almost all of them are of faces. He paints and draws them in a wide range of approaches from deft realism, to all manner of stylized distortions. Many of his faces are more design than portrait, and yet something of the model always seems to come through. One of his favorite tricks is render certain parts of the face in sharp clarity, usually something innocuous like an ear or nose or the neckline of the shirt, and then allow the rest of the face to disintegrate into a soft focus blur. He often allows the eyes to almost disappear, drawing us away from what is our natural focus and forcing us to look at the face in a very new way.
You can see some of his work on his website (www.saitotakashi.com) but the aforementioned Flickr page is the place to go. Start with this set of his own favorite pieces.
And according to his profile page he's looking for photographs to work from, so post your mug on Flickr and send him the link. You may never see your own face in quite the same way again.
PS it's well worth clicking on these images to view them larger!
2007 July Oil on canvas mounted on board 29.7 × 21.0cm
2010 Acrylic on panel 41.0 x 27.3 cm
2010 Acrylic on paper 29.6 x 21.0 cm
2009 Gouache on paper 29.6 x 20.8 cm
Acrylic on paper 29.7 x 21.0 cm