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Nick Baxter: Realism Techniques Part I

Nick Baxter: Realism Techniques Part I

By Nick Baxter 
This is the start of an occasional ongoing series on this blog where I’ll be discussing the process and techniques of sharp-focus realism oil painting.

Here’s the evolution of the painting I began at my parents’ house during a recent visit. The phases of development you see here represent approximate divisions into layers, i.e. major progress stages of the painting (click on the image below to make it larger). In actuality, there were a few more partial layers and back-and-forth adjustments made to various areas of the piece which are not shown here, as they didn’t constitute major turning points… 

Generally speaking, after the first two complete layers, it’s then possible to break off into intense development on one section of the piece if desired or needed, since at that point enough information has been recorded to establish a failsafe foundation upon which to build endless subtleties. I believe that the most convincing photorealistic paintings cannot be achieved through anything other than this subtle progression of multiple layers.

This piece is part of a new series nearing completion, which will debut officially on May 26th at Last Rites Gallery in NYC. More details of that show will be available in the coming months.

Hands painting stages

Value study, block-in, development of detail and form, final adjustments and refinement.

(Nick Baxter is a tattooer and blogger for Tattoo Artist Magazine. Nick can be found here: www.nickbaxter.com)