Michelle Obama's Official Portrait Provokes Outcry: 'Like a Sketch by a Sixth Grader'

Former President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama helped unveil their official portraits at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., on Monday.

While President Obama’s portrait left viewers gasping in awe at his likeness, Michelle’s portrait by artist Amy Sherald was met with confusion and criticism.

(Photo: Getty / Mark Wilson)

Michelle Obama is an elegant lady and the portrait looks nice. But clearly, the artist drew someone else,” a Twitter user wrote following the reveal.

Another agreed, adding, “Michelle Obama’s portrait was unveiled at the National Portrait Gallery… Aaaaand it looks nothing like her.”

One viewer claimed President Obama's portrait lacked "depth," while Michelle's painting was "paint by numbers bad." Another slammed it as looking "like a sketch by a sixth grader."

Conservative analyst Ben Shapiro jumped in on the criticism, sharing an abstract painting in place of Michelle's portrait. "LOVE the new portrait of Michelle Obama," he wrote.

President Obama seemed to dispute critical viewers' claims and praised Sherald for capturing, among other things, his wife's "hotness."

"Amy, I want to thank you for so spectacularly capturing the grace and beauty and intelligence and charm and hotness of the woman I love," he said with a chuckle.

To combat critical perceptions of Michelle's portrait, CNN White House reporter Kate Bennett offered some details on Sherald's artistic style, which is reportedly why she was chosen to paint the former first lady.

"Sherald uses greyscale to paint skin tone in order to take away 'color,' so her subjects can be seen for their personality and presence," Bennett wrote on Twitter.

"It’s not supposed to 'look like her' in the traditional sense of portraiture. These portraits break the mold of how we as the viewer consider the depiction of a person. This is why Sherald and Wiley were chosen," she added of the artists.

President Obama's portrait was completed by Kehinde Wiley, a Yale University-trained painter known for his artistic depiction of African-Americans.

Both portraits will hang in Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery in Washington D.C. alongside those of previous American leaders. The portraits will be available for public viewing starting Tuesday.