Will Ralfs 


I am an oil portrait painter who draws influence from traditional academic teachings of Renaissance and Dutch Golden Age portrait painting. I combine these influences with compositional placement and cropping representative of 20th and 21st century photography to create work that reflects on oil paintings broad history, while foregrounding my concerns as a contemporary portrait painter.

In my paintings, cropped areas of my subject’s face have been concealed with veils made of lace. In these works, the techniques of many of the Old Masters have been employed. I begin with the underpainting, using thinned orange paint, before a layer grisaille is painted over this. Colour is introduced into my work through the addition of glazes by mixing oil paint with the medium Liquin. The process of glazing allows me to capture rich and deep colours and tones in my work, reminiscent to the works of the Renaissance, which when combined with the photographic composition of my work produces a painting that is a hybrid between traditional and contemporary portraiture.