In the 2015 Student Competition, we met Devon Rodriguez, an inspiring, young portrait and figure artist. His work has continued to improve and evolve ever since. Take a look below at some of the artist’s work. Don’t forget to enter this year’s competition today.
Student Competition Spotlight | Devon Rodriguez
“I was born in the Bronx and raised on Brook Avenue–a neighborhood of concentrated poverty and crime. Witnessing the social and economic problems around me inspired me to start painting. I had a lifestyle to contemplate and understand and it became a source of inspiration. I never wanted to become a part of this ordeal, just observe it through a glass window, without judgment.”
“I begin with a tight pencil drawing, working out the composition and tonal design. I work on a gessoed board because of the way the brushstrokes sit on the surface. Then I spray fix the drawing to prevent smudging when I begin to paint. I tone my canvas with a thin layer of burnt umber, to work as a midtone. Some artists use a neutral gray, but I prefer a warm ground. I paint in a direct manner, working from dark to light. I stay committed to reality and try to capture every nuance that I see.”
“I strive to connect with a variety of people on an emotional level, capturing them honestly and realistically as possible. My goal is not to slavishly replicate photography, rather, to instill in the viewer senses of empathy and wonderment for the subject.”
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