Scott E. Bartner first came to The Artist’s Magazine’s attention three years ago, when he entered his work in our Annual Art Competition. One of his paintings was chosen as a finalist in 2010, and his work stayed in our memories since. I was thrilled to see his portraits featured in the January/February issue in an article titled “Transcendent Technique” by Richard Still. In addition to the excerpt below, click here to read Bartner’s step-by-step portrait demo, “Working Up From a Grisaille.”
An Individualistic Approach to Painting Portraits by Richard Stull
As a professional artist, Scott Bartner initially concentrated on portraiture, his work depicting a variety of subjects from notable Dutch citizens to family, friends, and children.
Portrait of Lex Harding (above) shows the legendary disc jockey who began his career broadcasting rock ’n’ roll from a “pirate” vessel off the Dutch coast. In the process of building a media empire, Harding amassed a stellar art collection. Bartner says that Harding initially wanted his portrait painted from a photo of him standing before a row of trees fading into the distance. “I didn’t want to do this,” says Bartner. “It looked like the kind of photo one would place next to an obituary.”
During a visit to Harding’s home, the artist saw several works by Roy Lichtenstein and convinced Harding that these would be more appropriate for the background. “The difficult part of the portrait,” says Bartner, “was keeping the Lichtensteins subordinated to the figure. Pop art is like the horn section of a symphony. It was hard to get the horns to shut up.”
Portrait of Eva (above) depicts the artist’s daughter. This piece is unfettered by the sentimentality so often seen in pictures of children. It’s also in a minority among Bartner’s portraits (for that matter, practically all portraits) for not having the subject gazing directly at the artist/viewer. The effect is utterly charming. ~RS
Charming indeed. What an honor it is to share these paintings with you! I’m sure that The Artist’s Magazine team feels the same way, as it’s such a pleasure to work behind-the-scenes to bring you articles and artists such as this. And when you subscribe, you won’t miss a single issue that’s full of inspiration, instruction, and ideas. Speaking of instruction, don’t forget to view Bartner’s painting demonstration, as well as learn more about him from his “Artist of the Month” feature.