Artist of the Month

Updated: 01 Sep 2019

Each month, talented painters show their work, share painting tips and give professional advice.

Tjalf Sparnaay

Artist of the Month, September 2019

Tjalf Sparnaay and his salad hyperrealistic painting

Tjalf Sparnaay is a celebrated still-life oil painter.

He is considered the most influential artist in a style called megarealism, which is related to hyperrealism.

Hyperrealistic oil painting of a fried egg by Tjalf Sparnaay

Tjalf is known for taking everyday objects, mainly food related, and paint them in large scales using photorealistic techniques.

Meat hyperrealistic oil painting by Tjalf Sparnaay

His art (paintings and limited-edition prints) is very popular with art collectors and art lovers.

Vase with flowers oil painting by Tjalf Sparnaay

Tjalf's tip:

Try to get an own original view on things as soon as possible and try to figure out how to evolve your self-found style and subjects in an attractive way.

Tjalf Sparnaay

Rance Jones

Artist of the Month, August 2019

Artist of the month, painter Rance Jones

Rance Jones is a realism painter and a watercolor wizard.

It took years of practice and exploration to develop such a photo-realistic style with watercolors.

Marketplace watercolor painting by Rance Jones

Rance's compositions are flawless, a true mastery which enables the viewer to focus on the painting subject, disregarding any painting style.

If not for a small signature at the bottom, one might forget he or she is looking at a painting.

Man working watercolor painting by Rance Jones

His painting topics uncover his sensitivity for society and culture. A desire to perceive the less familiar and humbly deliver it to the observer, unfiltered.

Woman picking potatos painting by Rance Jones

Rance's tip:

Do not let your art materials determine your vision for your art. For myself, I use watercolor and gouache for my paintings. However, it is the unconventional, non-traditional techniques that I have developed over the years in applying that type of paint that produce the textures, colors and clarity I want.

Keep experimenting. Keep messing up. Keep pushing yourself and your materials to get the finished result you desire.

Focus first on your vision and then explore a range of materials that help you best accomplish that vision.

Rance Jones Art

Lana Privitera

Artist of the Month, July 2019

Lana Privitera and her bottle watercolor painting

Lana Privitera is a still life watercolorist and an art educator.

She paints in a highly realistic style.

Still life watercolor painting by Lana Privitera

In addition to still life painting, Lana paints cityscapes, people and animals.

Watercolor cityscape painting by Lana Privitera

She is currently an art instructor at the Wallkill River School of Art in Montgomery, NY. She also conducts demos and teaches realistic watercolor workshops in the USA as well as internationally.

Her artistry, when it comes to display reflections and details, is remarkable.

Watercolor cups of tea by artist Lana Privitera

Lana's tip:

Sometimes, after we have not painted for a while, we are afraid to put down the first strokes in a new piece, or maybe we are not motivated by the subject.

My advice: Always have 3 or 4 completed drawings of the next paintings you plan to work on. Then, if you feel inspired to paint the skies, you paint all the skies, if you feel like doing trees, just paint some trees, or the background, or draw yet another painting you are excited about completing!

The important thing is not to stop painting just because you are stuck with a particular piece.

Lana Privitera

Eric Wilson

Artist of the Month, June 2019

Eric Wilson and his tiger painting

Eric Wilson is a wildlife master painter.

His beautiful art is inspired by his love for nature and the animal kingdom.

Elephant painting by Eric Wilson

Eric is a respected teacher of art. In his classes, he teaches painting techniques for pastels, oil paints and acrylics.

A major part of his lessons on painting animals is learning to render fur in a realistic manner.

Lion painting by Eric Wilson

Eric spent a lifetime studying animals in the wild, from polar bears in the frozen north, gorillas in Zaire to tigers in Nepal. He paints wildlife from his own direct experience.

From the many subjects for Eric's fine art paintings, one stands out in its presence: Tiger, the biggest cat in the wild!

Tiger painting by Eric Wilson

Eric's tip:

If you want to paint things that look real, do not fall into the trap of believing realism comes from detail alone.

Detail is in fact only one aspect of the reality you seek. Reality in a painting comes through three things:

  1. Tonal value
  2. Colour
  3. Drawing/detail

All three must be like an equilateral triangle. Perfectly balanced.

Eric Wilson Wildlife Artist

Author's comment:

To find out more on color mixing and the relationships within the color wheel, check out my beginners guide to mixing oil paints.

Christophe Vacher

Artist of the Month, May 2019

Artist of the month, painter Christophe Vacher

Christophe Vacher is a distinguished oil painter, art director and a spectacular concept artist.

A veteran in the animated film industry and a two-time Emmy award winner, he worked with some of the most known studios like Disney, DreamWorks and Universal Studios.

Woman on bed oil painting by Christophe Vacher

To create his extraordinary art, he starts with sketching on paper followed by drawing on a canvas before applying oil paints.

Fantasy concept art oil painting by Christophe Vacher

Besides his magnificent oil paintings, Christophe paints with watercolor, acrylics, gouache and mixed media.

His pencil drawings are just as amazing.

Portrait pencil drawings by Christophe Vacher

Christophe's tip:

Never stop learning. No matter how good you are, there will always be something to learn.

Being humble, keeping learning and working hard are the keys to success. There are many ignored genius but lazy artists in History.

Christophe Vacher

Ellery Gutiérrez

Artist of the Month, April 2019

Ellery Gutiérrez, oil painter

A skilled oil painter, Ellery Gutiérrez is known for the strong, vivid colors he uses that cannot be ignored.

Bird of paradise flower oil painting by Ellery Gutiérrez

Flowers and fruits are Ellery's trademark.

Fruits oil painting by Ellery Gutiérrez

Ellery's paintings are large-scale. They stand proud, making an immediate impact on the observer. Some are larger than 1.5m (~60inch).

Flower oil painting by Ellery Gutiérrez

Ellery's tip:

Paint with a lot of love and patience, little by little you will see results.

About the painting process:

Ellery Gutiérrez

Thomas Arvid

Artist of the Month, March 2019

Oil painting of bungs by Thomas Arvid

Thomas Arvid is a still life oil painter with an exceptional expertise in rendering light, depth, and reflection in a super realistic manner.

Wine bottles oil painting by Thomas Arvid

Thomas combines his love for painting and wine with his compositions of wine and the rituals surrounding it.

Champagne bottles on beach Oil painting by Thomas Arvid

With the use of lush colors, Thomas, in his compositions, tells a story of enjoyment and the good life.

Winged corkscrew oil painting by Thomas Arvid

Thomas Arvid's tip:

I have a couple of things I would pass on to artists at the beginning of their careers.

First thing, set up your studio where you can leave it up and then paint. Paint every day whether you are in the mood to paint or not. You can't wait for inspiration, that comes from long hours behind the easel.

Second, paint what you know and what you love. If your art is authentic, it will resonate with people. What makes art truly great is also what makes it unique and you can only find that inside of yourself.

Thomas Arvid

Author's recommended tutorial:

15 Proven Ways to Create the Illusion of Depth.

Irina Cumberland

Artist of the Month, February 2019

Irina Cumberland painting the ocean

Irina Cumberland is a passionate artist with environmental awareness.

She paints gorgeous seascapes using oil paints.

Irina Cumberland painting of a wave

Irina has an exceptional ability to portray the beauty of water in movement.

Irina Cumberland painting of the ocean

Besides marvelous paintings and prints, Irina offers, at her website, a beautiful calendar with 12 relaxing images of the ocean.

Irina Cumberland calendar of the ocean

Irina Cumberland's tip:

Be yourself and do not try to fit your art into what you think might sell or what other people tell you to do. That never works.

We are bombarded with ideas 24/7. Being true to who you are in such circumstances is a hell of an achievement! Your audience will appreciate it.

Irina Cumberland

Tomasz Alen Kopera

Artist of the Month, January 2019

Tomasz Alen Kopera oil painting

Tomasz Alen Kopera, a gifted oil painter, has a mysterious and unique style that combines fantasy and realism.

Tomasz Alen Kopera oil Painting

Alen's mastery of details and colors allow him to blend the beauty and forces of nature as part of his portraits.

Tomasz Alen Kopera oil painting

His creativity, often mystical and dark, captivates the viewer's attention and subconscious.

Tomasz Alen Kopera oil painting

Alen Kopera's tip:

Be yourself, create what you feel by your heart and remember that you do not need to follow the trends.

Art Éclat

Steve Mills

Artist of the Month, December 2018

Steve Mills painting

Steve Mills is an accomplished realist oil painter.

He paints stunning, photorealistic landscapes, seascapes and cityscapes.

Beautiful realistic seascape painting by Steve Mills

In addition, Steve paints still life and close-up paintings.

He is a master when it comes to texture, painting just about any texture he is intrigued by.

Realistic still life paintings by Steve Mills

Attention to details is a key part of his painting style.

Photorealistic newspapers painting by Steve Mills

Steve Mills's tip:

Think of your painting in a 3D mindset. “Build” it as a space, not just as a flat surface.

Steve Mills Art

James Neil Hollingsworth

Artist of the Month, November 2018

Hyperrealistic car oil painting by Neil Hollingsworth

Neil Hollingsworth is a hyperrealism specialist.

He paints with oil paints on panel and succeed to deliver realism and details on, sometimes, small-scale paintings.

Neil Hollingsworth and realistic motorcycle painting

Neil is represented by fine art galleries in the United States, and his work is in numerous private and corporate collections domestically and abroad.

Hyperrealistic oil paintings by Neil Hollingsworth

Neil's realistic oil paintings, which include vehicles, tools and everyday objects, are usually with nostalgic connotation.

Airplain hyperrealistic oil painting by Neil Hollingsworth

Neil Hollingsworth's tip:

Paint as much as you can and then paint some more.

If possible, try to sell your art at early stages, at eBay or anywhere else. This will keep you motivated.

James Neil Hollingsworth

Nathan Walsh

Artist of the Month, October 2018

Cityscape realistic painting by Nathan Walsh

A true virtuoso of contemporary urban landscape, Nathan Walsh's realistic painting represent his take on the world we live in.

Realistic painting of a street by Nathan Walsh

His huge and complex paintings start with pencil drawing.

Cityscape drawings by Nathan Walsh

By mastering linear perspective for cityscapes, Nathan Walsh is able to achieve such engaging and distinctive compositions.

Eiffel tower & carousel painting by Nathan Walsh

Nathan's paintings are packed with pictorial elements, enabling the viewer to enter the worlds he creates and move around.

Realistic street painting by Nathan Walsh

Nathan Walsh's tip:

Try to find your own unique take on the world. Let this be the starting point for creating your art.

Nathan Walsh

Dustin Van Wechel

Artist of the Month, September 2018

Dustin Van Wechel painting of ibex on mountain

Dustin Van Wechel is an expert wildlife artist.

Animals and landscape of the Americas are the core of his paintings.

Moose painting by Dustin Van Wechel

Dustin's outstanding use of perspective, color and brightness values, allow him to deliver such balanced and appealing works of art.

Bison realistic painting by Dustin Van Wechel

His work has been exhibited all throughout the U.S., in one-man shows, major art exhibitions and museums.

Bear realistic painting by Dustin Van Wechel

Dustin Van Wechel's tip:

Paint and draw from life whenever possible. Nothing will improve your skills in painting and drawing faster than working from direct observation.

The Art of Dustin Van Wechel

Author's comment:

For the 8 key factors for drawing & painting realism, read how to paint in a realistic style.

Karen Noles

Artist of the Month, August 2018

Karen Noles painting, artist of the month

A renowned oil painter, Karen Noles specialty is Native American Indians and western related painting.

Karen Noles western & American Indians paintings

Karen focuses on women and children portraits while using authentic period clothing and artifacts.

Karen Noles Indian women and children paintings

Animals are also part of her painting.

Karen Noles Native American Indian girl & horse

Karen Noles's tip:

Always strive for excellence and growth. Beyond that its simple brush mileage.

Karen Noles

Amanda Drage

Artist of the Month, July 2018

Amanda Drage, artist of the month

Amanda Drage is a professional animal artist.

She paints pet portrait commissions and other original artwork related to the animal kingdom.

Amanda Drage pet portraits

Amanda uses high quality materials to produce her remarkable artwork.

She paints in pastels, pencils and oil paints.

Two Cockapoo dogs painting by Amada Drage

As well as portraits of pets who are still with us, Amanda paints tributes to pets who have passed on.

Dog portraits by Amanda Drage

In addition to dog portraits, Amanda paints cats, horses and many other animals.

Pet portraits by Amanda Drage

Amanda Drage's tip:

Keep practice and do not get disheartened when you feel your work is not as good as you want it to be.

When working on commission, try to make time for your own practice, it can help keep things fresh.

Amanda Drage Art

Author's comment:

If you like pets and animals, check out these professional pet painters.

Ran Noveck

Artist of the Month, June 2018

Ran Noveck, artist of the month

Ran Noveck's art is characterized by vivid colors, flowing lines and a unique perspective.

All this leads to a feeling of liquid movement for the observer.

Artist of the month June, Ran Noveck

From an early age, he was encouraged by his mother, an artist and a fashion designer.

Ran Noveck painting, June 2018

In addition, Ran is using spray paint for wall painting, influenced by his love for nature and surfing.

Ran Noveck, artist of the month June

Ran Noveck's paintings, usually large and dominant, adorn many public and private spaces.

Artist of the month June, Ran Noveck

Joe Cornelius

Artist of the Month, May 2018

Artist of the month May, Joe Cornelius

Joe Cornelius, also known as Mural Joe, is an artist who specializes in realistic wall paintings.

Joe's murals are displayed in different countries. Depending on the project, some on external walls and some in interior spaces including ceilings.

The subjects he paints are varied and include, among others, paintings of fantasy, outer space, landscape and the animal kingdom.

A painting by Joe Cornelius

In addition to murals, Joe also paints on canvas with oil paints:

A painting by Joe Cornelius

Joe runs one of the best YouTube channels for learning to paint, focusing on color mixing, perspective and understanding how to draw from imagination.

A painting by Joe Cornelius

Joe Cornelius's tip:

Before painting on a wall, it is advisable to clean it from dust and dirt.

When painting on an external wall, it is recommended to use paints that are durable to weather conditions and UV light.

Jason Walcott

Artist of the Month, April 2018

Jason Walcott, Artist of the month April

Jason Walcott is a dedicated painter who began his art career at an early age.

His favorite medium is oil painting, but he also paints in pastels. Jason works in a style that has been coined as "Abstract Realism".

Over the years, he has strived to continue developing his style, which incorporates a love for dramatic lighting, rich color and juicy brushwork.

A painting by Jason Walcott

From 1997, he worked for several years in the graphic design field before going into business for himself as a typeface designer.

He found a great success with that career, and actually became somewhat well known in the graphic arts and advertising industry for his font designs, which are sold under the foundry name of Jukebox.

A painting by Jason Walcott

In 2016, Jason started a YouTube channel, Walcott Fine Art, which is dedicated to helping beginning artists navigate the world of both art technique and art materials.

Jason Walcott, artist of the month

Jason Walcott's tip:

Practice, practice, practice!

You can read books, or watch lots of YouTube videos and while those are great helpers, nothing can replace actual time spent on painting.

The more you paint the better you will get, so keep at it. If you put in the work to make the quantity, the quality will come.

Sergey Suer

Artist of the Month, March 2018

Sergey Suer, artist of the month March

Sergey Suer is a talented designer and illustrator who has been working professionally since 2013.

Sergey's works are characterized by a combination of realism and graphic interpretation.

In other words, diving into the painted world and the world of imagination while observing the rules of perspective, lighting, etc.

A painting by Sergey Suer

When creating new worlds, wonderful characters, buildings, machines and other magical creatures, art for Sergey is a playground without settings and restrictions.

A drawing by Sergey Suer Artist of the month, Sergey Suer

Sergey Suer's tip:

In Sergey's experience, it is recommended to devote a period of intensive study to a particular topic. At the end of the period, it is possible to switch to a completely different subject and maintain the accumulated knowledge.

A painting by Sergey Suer



Additional Resources

If you are a beginner and want to learn to draw, you might want to start with how to draw realism with pencils.

For learning to draw and paint online, I gathered the best YouTube channels for learning to paint.