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Diane Russell (MAP #102)

Oil on linen
24″ x 18″

Waterfront Blues Festival
22″ x 30″

34″ x 24″

I paint people because I find the human face, with its many expressions, fascinating. My portrait paintings are done in oil, using no solvents and only linseed oil as a medium. I gain my inspiration from the photographs I take, and use these images to work from. Once I decide on a photo to use, I create a drawing, which I then enlarge and transfer to a linen canvas. My first layer of oil paint is done with an umber wash to establish the drawing and values. I then paint additional translucent layers of paint, gradually adding more paint towards the final layers. By using this method, I avoid overworking the paint so the colors remain vibrant. With each layer, I try to come closer to bringing the painting to life, balancing the colors, values, and likeness. My charcoal drawing process is much the same as my paintings, but the layers are done in pencil on paper. My goal with each of my portraits is always the same… to go beyond features to presence. When my portrait begins to breathe, I know it is finished.


Media: drawing & colored pencil, oil