Dark Soul? Dark Art?

General / 22 March 2019

I really couldn't tell you why I'm so drawn to what we usually describe as "dark art". Sure, I did have quite a lot of anxiety and stuff growing up, battling with a minor depression – but overall I'd say I'm a pretty happy person.

My paintings usually contain a subject in some sort of pain or state of despair. I wouldn't necessarily say it's a manifestation of my feelings, because nowadays I mostly feel fine. Mostly. But I've always been into darker kind of art. Ken Currie, Nicola Samori, Francis Bacon, Fransisco Goya, and so on. "Happy" art – or colorful art is just something that straight up bores me. 

It never comes with the same gut-punch as when an artist is portraying something gruesome or sad. And believe me, I've tried on many occasions to broaden my perspective. Sure, I can appreciate a few artists out there that create things that are truly beautiful. Nature paintings and so on. And of course, I can admire the craft and thoughts behind paintings that aren't within the dark art genre.

At least once a week someone asks me why I'm portraying such dark subjects. And I don't really have a good answer. Truly. I just like darkness. I like muted colors and human faces and bodies in weird positions. I probably always will. It doesn't mean that I hate life or anything like that.

Odd Nerdrum

General / 16 March 2019

Sometimes you just stumble into something that you've never quite seen before. As I did with the works of the Norwegian painter Odd Nerdrum. I'm not quite sure how to describe his work. His style reminds me of Rembrandt. At least when it comes to the lighting and the brush strokes.

Obviously his subject matter is a lot darker and grimy. He often portrays people in a weird manner. Men and women seemingly floating away. Being distorted by something. He also places his subjects in some surreal landscape, which seems to be a mix of something really old – yet there are aspects that feel modern. Like a wheelchair or guns for example.

Most of his paintings really make me feel quite uneasy. They chill me to the bone. And apparently the guy is quite crazy as well. Yet, a really big inspiration. For sure.

Taking a New Direction With my Work

General / 16 March 2019

For pretty much a year now I've been doing different kinds of portraits. I deform my subjects to make them something less than human – but ultimately they are still portraits. And I've really grown tired of it.

I just lack the patience nowadays to really get into a portrait. The problem with me is that I tend to render the image too much, which is really time-consuming. And it bores me. Lately, I've been trying to be a bit looser with my style, and I just find it more interesting and fun overall.

I have a series of upcoming paintings that will be more abstract, and surreal. And not just portraits. Some of them have human subjects in them, sure. But they are not that similar to my other stuff.

But who knows. I might get bored of doing this thing as well. But for now, I'll try to focus on more abstract stuff.

One of my Favourite Photoshop Applications

General / 14 March 2019

There are tons of applications for Photoshop. I don't really use that many nowadays, to be honest. 

But let me tell you about one that I've come to love lately, called Infinite Color Panel.

Infinite Color Panel

Infinite Color Panel basically is an application that allows you to press a button to generate certain filters for your image. And I mean good looking filters, not the Instagram type.

Of course, you can adjust the filters at your leisure. The application will add adjustment layers such as curves, color lookups, color correction, and more.

The thing I love about the application is that it's so simple to use. With the press of one button, you can generate a really neat looking filter. And there are hundreds, maybe thousands (infinite?!) of filters. It's a really great tool to make your painting or image pop a bit more.

Obviously Infinite Color Wheel is mainly used to edit photos, but it works great with digital painting as well.

The application is quite expensive however with a price of $99. But totally worth it if you use Photoshop a lot. 

You can buy it here

Feeling a Need to Explore Abstract Art

General / 14 March 2019

So, uhm. I haven't been painting seriously for that long. For about a year now I'd say, a bit less even. My style has changed quite a bit – even though I've dived a bit back and forth.

One thing that defines my style is the way I distort the subject, or as Francis Bacon would have put it: "Causing an injury". This is something that I do with pretty much every painting. It creates more of an abstract and surreal tone in my opinion.

And it's that particular surreal tone that I want to explore a bit more, as of late. I feel like there is something in that void between something that you clearly can define – and something that you quite can't make up what it is.

One thing about me as a person generally is that I get bored of doing the same stuff all over. And now I feel like my style needs to take some sort of interesting direction if I don't want to get completely bored with what I'm doing.

So the stuff that I'll produce for now will most likely be more abstract, where I will try to focus more on color and shapes. Instead of details.

I'm also into the idea of combining old paintings. Which kind of creates a narrative between them. This is obviously something that you'd never be able to do on a real canvas, but hey – sometimes digital art can be pretty cool.

I hope it's something that you'll appreciate! We'll see how it goes.

Where I Find my Inspiration & Nicola Samori

General / 13 March 2019

Man oh man. I tend to find inspiration for my paintings all over – in different kinds of media. Recently I've been obsessing over an artist named Nicola Samori.

He's an Italian painter and sculptor that mainly focuses on human subjects. He works with some really interesting materials, where he usually paints with oil on copper plates. Which creates a really cool surface. 

A Master of the Surreal

The man is a master when it comes to mixing the abstract and surreal with something more realistic. Many of his paintings have a renaissance feel to them – but he distorts the images by "ripping" some things apart. This leads to feelings of dread and anxiety, where you really aren't sure of what you're looking at.

In the painting I'm working on right now I'm trying to incorporate elements that I've learned from studying Samori. Mostly when it comes to the backgrounds and "the ripping of the image". We'll see how it turns out.

Anyways, I just wanted to share my brief thoughts on this modern master painter.

The Reason That I Paint Digitally

General / 13 March 2019

I get this question a lot. Like all the time. Why do you paint digitally?

The reason is quite simple. Time efficiency. I have a day job, and I can't work with oil paintings that need two weeks to dry up inside my small apartment. Working with oils is really fun – but time-consuming.

When I paint in Photoshop I can make one painting per day, pretty much. That is my goal anyway. And if I were to switch to oil maybe I'd be able to produce a painting per week, at max.

That's not going to do it for me, anyway. And working in Photoshop also makes it easier to be creative. You can play around with different layer effects, and try to create something truly unique – that'd be really hard to achieve on an analog canvas.

Most of my art is mimicking some sort of analog media, but I always try to add some sort of distorted effect that would be impossible – or really hard to achieve with real oils.

What is your opinion on digital art?