by Edith Zimmerman
2006, oil on linen, 30 x 19.
Our artist of the month, Bryce Cameron Liston, is an oil painter and sculptor whose artwork frequently incorporates elements from history and mythology. “I like to bring myths and legends to life,” he explains. “I like stories that transcend time.” Within this genre, Liston focuses on the human form, taking care to portray it accurately. “I believe the highest form of art is the representation of the human figure,” he says. “As a traditional painter and sculptor, I consider sound draftsmanship and a solid knowledge of human anatomy essential for successful artwork.”
His artistic inspiration comes largely from the late-19th century; he lists John William Waterhouse, William Bouguereau, Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, and Lord Frederic Leighton among his strongest influences. And although his subject matter is often reminiscent of Classical Realism, Liston employs more modern methods to achieve his results. He works from the model and from photographs, which allow him to piece paintings together from different sources—a method that is particularly advantageous for his historical-narrative paintings.
Once Liston has determined the idea behind a painting, he creates various thumbnail sketches to formulate its basic composition. Next he draws a more detailed rendering along with multiple color studies of the chosen composition. He is then confident enough to pick up the brush and begin the final painting.
|To Their Destiny Go the Daughters of Danaus
2006, oil on linen, 30 x 40.
He works on toned, double oil-primed linen with a smooth tooth, using oils thinned with varying amounts of solvent. “I first apply thinned medium—two parts solvent to one part oil—to block in the basic shapes,” he explains. “Once this layer dries, I switch to a more oil-rich medium—one part solvent to one part oil—and define the forms with this more opaque paint. When this layer is dry, I scrape certain areas smooth and use pure oil medium with the paint. When this is dry, I scumble and glaze any areas that need refining. This produces a nice combination of luminous transparent color and solid opaque color, which gives the piece a lot of richness.”
The artist’s paintings and sculptures have appeared in various solo and group shows throughout the country and garnered several awards. Liston is represented by Galerie Kornye West, in Fort Worth, Texas; Meyers Art Gallery, in Scottsdale, Arizona; and Tanglewood Fine Art, in Flagstaff, Arizona. Visit Liston's website for more information.
Edith Zimmerman is the editorial assistant of American Artist.
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