-  Messing About with Paint   -  London International Creative Competition 2015

Ernest, Honourable Mention Winner at LICC 2015


The composition of my portrait of Ernest wasn’t sitting correctly on the canvas. He felt either overawed by the space around him, or caught in headlight dazzle.

I used the ‘Fibonacci Sequence’ to determine the golden points and cropped the portrait so his eye was centered on one of them. I then tilted the composition by 5 degrees to bring his shoulders onto the diagonal line, and create tension with the space around him.

Burnt Umber and Ultramarine Blue, mixed for the base grey colour. The ‘Cooler’ colour pushing back the shadow areas. The warmer colours of Magenta and Indian Yellow Deep were used for the shadow area, over painted with Van Dyk Brown and Golden Ocher, to create depth and interest.

Naples Yellow Light and Deep were used for the lighter areas of the face, with pure white for the highlights. A tad risky, and a first for me.

In his time Jan has been an electronics, nuclear and power system engineer, a strategist, a humanitarian and an artist. A career path linked by creativity and innovative thinking. Initially trained at the Johannesburg College of Art, Jan has won numerous international awards and has exhibited nationally and internationally. He can be found in his studio ‘Jandreart’ located at Thesen Harbour Town, Knysna.


  • Congratulations, Jan. Thank you for the tips on how to get skin colour done on portrait paintings. Your colour combinations are also fascinating and I would love to try them. x

    October 20, 2015
    • Let me know how it goes. Will also try doing a video of my painting process

      October 20, 2015
  • Congratulations! Perfect. Please re-share the photo of you handing Ernest his portrayed copy. I cannot find it.

    October 20, 2015

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