I have been doing art since I was 11 years old. For years, I’ve always thought art was about mimicking what I saw – like slowly developing a photograph on a canvas or a paper through the use of pencil, paint, or charcoal. It wasn’t until after I graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology, where I got my Bachelors in Fine Art Studio, I realized, in the words of Edgar Degas, “Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.” My paintings have eventually become the study of light and color. A good example of works that strongly influenced my work is Caravaggio on his dramatic use of light and Impressionism, such as Degas, Monet, and Manet, on the bold use of colors.
My approach to painting is methodical. I break down the subject based on the colors. The colors are divided into four areas: Base, Mid-Tone, Shadows, and Highlights. Base is the overall color tone set on the painting. I usually use yellow as the base. Mid-tone colors, such as red, orange, and brown, are applied to lay out the composition of the subject. Shadows and highlights are added to define the form of the subject. Dark blue or purple are often use in the shadow. I don’t use any black paint in any of my work because black doesn’t exist in the natural world as it lacks natural light. Highlights are added last and usually it’s white. Other colors may be used, but it’s usually warm colors.