Archive for May 2, 2012

Artists working with the face and figure….Burton Silverman

A link to his personal website:

online and land based galleries: Gallery 1261 in Denver, Colorado.

low price range: $5,000 for oil painting. Various prices for watercolor and drawings.

high price range: $85,000. For more info please visit this website showing the top portrait artists including Mr. Silverman.    . For a full oil figure painting life size look to pay $85,000.

mediums used: oils, watercolor, graphite, pastels

a clip from a great dvd by the artist. He shows a unique method using bristol board and zinc goache. Its better than normal watercolor as its easy to make corrections.  What I enjoy about this artist and any of his dvds is that he lets his thought process show in the end piece. He paints a rough sketch, lets it dry, then reworks the drawing and adds more paint. He also uses a large Grumbacher brush which I had to search quite a few art stores to find. Its great to pick up large pools of water or paint and put them down without any fear of running out of paint! He has lessons on dvd covering drawing , using watercolor, and painting in oils. He also has some books out. Here is a preview from the watercolor dvd. Its also great as he slides the figure over after making some initial marks. Its great to see the entire thought process that goes into a figure painting.

A short clip from a dvd lesson dealing with using graphite and paper. I learned a lot about how the artist is very patient with his marks rather than try to get into the heavy details of the figure from the start. He starts making marks on the paper and from these random lines finds a very abstract and interesting composition.

Find his Breaking the Rules in watercolor book for around $8 on Another book titled the Sight and Insight of Burton Silverman is $90 on Amazon. This book is more of a retrospective of the artist.

Mr. Silverman was born in 1928. The artist attended Columbia College finishing in 1949. He has done commercial illustration for magazines such as Time and Newsweek. He is included in more than 20 museum collections including the Denver Museum, the Philadelphia Museum, and the Brooklyn Museum.

This artist is one of the best business artists around. He has his works available in life size oils to pastels and watercolors as well as drawings. He also has some prints of his work available. In addition he has written a book and made films showing artists his process of painting. The artist still gives workshops that are sold out as soon as the word gets out.  He is one of the best living artists in the country and I hope you get the chance to see some paintings of his in person.

One last item to learn from this artist is to use a variety of colors in your work, but grey them out.  If you have a bright cadmium red you would like to use in say a sweater, add some raw umber to the red and save the bright splashes of red for just a few areas on the sweater, the artist has supreme control of his colors and his palette.

For today’s art homework try a new medium. This artist does watercolor, oils, and pastels and a high level! You can do it also.

From my experience I use a watercolor technique similar to the artist but use gessoed hardboard rather than paper as you don’t have to worry about the board buckling.

Happy Painting!