Chapter 18 - Artist - Ben Jeffery - Pop Culture Meets the Canvas
Updated: Jun 22, 2020
Ben Jeffery's work has been an inspiration to me for quite some time now and I have been waiting for the right project and time in my portfolio to experiment in his style. I am hoping that I can be heavily influenced by his painterly style throughout this whole year as I think that creating dynamic backgrounds with such expressive mark making would work well for me. Jeffery's Diana piece has really caught my attention because it is very bold in comparison to the rest of his work. The background has really become one with the artwork, it may work so well because the style suits the movie characters he is working with. I would have to bare this in mind with my mark making as I would want a softer colour palette and brush stroke style for a perfume advert, the harsh, bold colour choices of the Diana piece would be too much, unless it was a perfume brand targeted at a grungy or sporty person.
Jeffery's work ranges from portraits to landscapes, however, his passion is Sci-Fi movies. There was a period of his career after graduating from uni that he wanted to be a concept artist for films or games, but that kind of industry would require the quicker process of digital painting, it got some 'pretty good results, but paint just has a depth and feel that can't be beaten.' Ben Jeffery's interest in working with characters from film is what made me fall in love with his work to be begin with. The characters that he paints are also characters that I love, TV and film is what inspires a lot of my work. It has been good to see that there is a market out there that want paintings of film characters in a gallery context as this would be an avenue I would like to explore further on down the line. With copyright issues that seem like a very big deal, it has been good to see that these much loved characters can still be put in a gallery to be loves by all movie fans.
With the mark making, you can see how come of the brush marks are made before the portrait is painted, then after the portrait is done, some additional strokes are added over the top to help push the character within the environment. Jeffery uses acrylic paint and oils to create his paintings. He states that his painting 'evolves' as he is painting it. With a basic composition in mind, he lets the brush come up with the shapes and colours within the moment of actually beginning the painting. He works in two stages, first, painting the entire canvas in base colours, then once the painting has dried he goes in to add details. This is a process that I personally would not be comfortable with doing, my way of creating a portrait is very different to this. I generally finish a painting section by section without applying a base over the whole thing. I can see why artists work in this way, but the painting just stays unfinished and dare I say ugly, for too long for me.
With this perfume project however, I would not use oil paints like Jeffery does, I have used oils before in previous education and it did not work out well. I could however experiment with watercolours or watering down acrylic paint, this would also lend itself to having a softer aesthetic that would compliment the perfume advert anyway.
Batman vs Superman