James Courtenay James

James Courtenay James

James Courtenay James

 

 

Tennessee

Graphic Design, Georgia State University

Representational painting can be more than just the reproduction of contours. I strive to create the illusion of three dimensional space formed by light and color – the interpretation of a unique moment that lives on the painted surface. My images seek out the abstract details hidden in commonplace subjects, inviting a fresh examination.

My technique draws on centuries of European oil painting. First a monochromatic underpainting establishes composition, form and value. Over this base, layers of transparent and opaque color glazes build depth and luminosity. Spatial relationships are manipulated by changes in the quality of edges, the contrast of cool colors and warm, and variation in surface texture.

Using traditional oil painting techniques dating back to the 15th Century, my narrative portraits create a selective realism that encourages looking deeper than the surface. Highlighting a detail here, softening an edge or shadow there, small details lead a viewer to imagine the underlying story.

 

 

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