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Portrait in Progress


"Dreadlocks" Acrylic Painting on Panel 2015 by Nicholas Santoleri
“Dreadlocks” Acrylic Painting on Panel 24×18 inches  by Nicholas Santoleri  2015

As I may have mentioned, two of my greatest influences in the art world are Albrecht Durer (1471 –1528) and Andrew Wyeth (1917 – 2009). Two of their portraits  have mesmerized me for many years:  Durer’s  Painting  titled  Portrait of a Young Venetian Woman (oil on panel)1505 and Wyeth’s painting (egg tempera on panel) of Helga simply titledBraids  1977. After years of studying the portrait techniques of both masters, and based on this, I have developed my own technique. In the slide show below I will attempt to convey how I create my portraits.

  • 001_Dreadlocks_in Progress
    001_Dreadlocks_in Progress
  • First I start by cutting and gessoing a Masonite panel.
    I like to use gray gesso.
  • Then I draw out the painting lightly, with charcoal, caring mainly about the contour and over all composition rather than detail.
  • Next I paint in the background in a mix of black and deep blue.
  • Now I start the underpainting, without concerning myself on exact colors yet, as I will be painting each area many times (glazing) to narrow in on the correct color and tonal value later.
  • I paint the “local color”, with little regard to shadow and light.
  • This process is much like “throwing a pot” on a potters wheel. I find that if I worry too much about what the final image will look like at this point I run into trouble.
  • The shadows and highlights are now addressed with a glazing.
  • Time is now spent on the details.

To see other Acrylic Portraits by Santoleri  go to Acrylic Portraits

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Nick Santoleri ~ Artist  |   Pine Ridge Productions, Inc.
1515 West Chester Pike Unit A-6, West Chester, PA 19382
In Historic Chester County, Pennsylvania