The Artistic Process

From Palette to Painting


The Artistic Process

I am a Realist Artist, I believe in painting what I see, catching a beautiful scene for my clients to cherish for life. I spend long hours in my studio and I am building a reputation as an artist who pushes super-realism to the extreme, with great attention to detail while catching the light and beauty in each piece of work I do. Photorealism is an extremely realistic style of painting and drawing, in which the artwork is based entirely on my own photographic work. After I have chosen a subject, I proceed to meticulously recreate in pigment the details of the photograph. This is done though careful observation, as well as in-depth knowledge of the characteristics of the paint. The combinations and amounts of colors and mediums to mix, which brushes will best achieve the desired effect, and how saturated the brush will need to be. All of these elements must be in perfect balance throughout the creation of the painting - a process that takes time and practice.

Photorealist paintings, as with most paintings, are built in many layers. It is an additive process, beginning with the under painting and continuing through the development of the forms. Most of the layers in photorealist paintings consist of thin glazes, i.e. paint that is thinned with water or a
medium. By the way I use a water based oil paint and a Zinc flake medium… This allows for the subtle blending effects that are necessary in order to make the flat surface of the canvas appear to contain 3-dimensional objects and scenes. I work primarily from my own photographic reference material, often creating a collage of different images to form a basis for my paintings. I paint in oil and acrylic mixed media on canvas.

Photorealistic paintings are renowned for their tight, technical precision, which is achieved through an intensive familiarity with the materials and process. The resulting painting usually has a clean, smooth finish, in which the brushstrokes are not visible. The final layer of varnish
seals the painting and adds another layer of smoothness.

At any given time I have between seven and eight paintings in various stages of completion. This allows me to make best use of my palette and keeps me stimulated. Almost instinctively I know what size and shape the canvas or board should be for each piece.

Sometimes I will use charcoal, but more generally I use dark paint to sketch the outline plan and I correct with white paint.

Gradually I start to apply large areas of block colour. This stage normally takes a day or two to complete after which the detailing process then begins. I always start with the background and work forwards layer upon layer. I use a wide selection of brushes, many that I have had for years; even the most hairless have a part to play. I pay meticulous attention to detail as I want to achieve excellence.

Photorealist art is most appreciated for its huge WOW! factor. People often mistake photorealist paintings for actual photographs. It sometimes takes a second look to realize that the artwork is actually a painting! That's part of the fun - realizing that the image before you is not a photo, but
the painstaking work of my hands! Photorealist paintings take many hours to complete, requiring intense concentration and in-depth knowledge of the materials. The end result can be breathtaking and wondrously fun.