A Jerry's Online Street Team Art Project with Brian Neher

Why does professional portrait artist Brian Neher use LUKAS 1862 Oils?

Brian Neher is an award-winning portrait artist who has captured the likenesses of clients of all ages. His work has been shown at the Portrait Institute in Manhattan, N.Y., as well as in American Artist magazine. He has received recognition in the National Portrait Competition as well as the West Coast Society of Portrait Painters. He has appeared on national public television as a guest on the magazine format show Paint! Paint! Paint! He has had the unique and rare opportunity to study under one of America's finest painters, renowned portraitist Joe Bowler. Learn more about Brian in his Jerry's Artist Spotlight blog post and by visiting his website at www.BrianNeher.com.

Portrait Painting with Brian Neher

Featuring LUKAS 1862 Artists' Oil Colors

I recently had the opportunity to try out the LUKAS 1862 Professional Oil Paints and chose to take them for a "test drive" on one of my portrait commissions. I was extremely pleased with how the paint handled and the effects that I was able to achieve as a result of using them.

Learn More About LUKAS paints

From the moment that I opened up the first tube, I could see the high standard of quality that goes into the making of each color. The generous pigment content produced beautiful, bright colors straight out of the tube, allowing for a wide range of flesh tones and grays that can be mixed when painting portraits. There were a couple of noticeable differences that I found when using LUKAS 1862 as compared to other well-known brands. The first is that the LUKAS brand has a slightly more fluid consistency than the others that I have used over the years, allowing for some beautiful wet into wet transitions and soft edges that can be made during the painting process.

The other distinguishing quality was the actual drying time of the paint itself. As with other brands of oil paint, some colors may take up to a week or so to dry to the touch, but the LUKAS brand paint set up in just a matter of days, allowing me to continue working on top of these previous layers. This was very helpful in the refining stages of the portrait. I often use my fingers when softening certain areas of a face and it's important to be sure that you're not removing paint when working this way, so the previous, quick drying stage worked to my advantage in this situation.

This portrait of Will was painted on Claessens #13 SP linen using LUKAS 1862 oil paint.

With LUKAS 1862 Oil Colors, you will find the high quality and consistency that you would expect when using a professional grade oil paint, but at nearly half the cost of other major brands. I would highly recommend LUKAS 1862 to other artists who are looking for a top quality product at an economical price.

To follow Brian's process, watch this enlightening time-lapse video of various stages in the painting of Brian's portrait of Will, and let us know what you think of his amazing artwork in the comments below!


Artist Spotlight - Brian Neher

Professional Portrait Painter Brian Neher

Brian Neher is a professional portrait painter whose work has been featured in American Artist Magazine as well as their Portrait and Figure Painting Highlights edition and on National Public Television. His paintings can be seen in both private and corporate collections throughout the United States.

Born in Alexandria, Virginia in 1972, Brian began drawing at the age of three and through the encouragement and example of his grandmother, a commercial artist herself, knew at an early age that he wanted to pursue a career in art. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Pensacola Christian College in Pensacola, Florida and it was there that he had the opportunity to study under Brian Jekel, an accomplished painter who would greatly impact his life. "By introducing me to the Old Masters of the late nineteenth century, Brian Jekel set into motion a series of events and study that would forever direct my course as an artist," says Neher.

Brian has had the unique and rare opportunity to study under one of America's modern day masters, renowned portrait painter Joe Bowler. "Through critiques, demonstrations, encouragement, and the constant study of the Old Masters, Joe gave me an early start on what true painting is all about. Much of the progress that I have made as a painter has been a direct result of being under his guidance. I hope to someday be able to give back to others what Joe has given to me."

In addition to painting commissioned portraits, Brian enjoys sharing his passion for art with others and has produced a series of instructional art videos which focus on teaching the foundational principles of representational art by demonstrating how to apply each one to the art of painting. By understanding these principles, the artist is then given the freedom to better communicate his message to the viewer.


Why does professional portrait artist Brian Neher use LUKAS 1862 Oils?


For more information about Brian or to see examples of his work, visit www.BrianNeher.com.


Artist Spotlight - Stephen Jesic

Wildlife Artist Stephen Jesic

featuring Matisse Structure Acrylic Paints

by Robert Simon, New York

Stephen A. Jesic was born in 1951 in Albury, New South Wales, Australia. Although showing artistic talent from his youth, Stephen was thwarted in his ambitions to be a painter as his traditional European parents felt it inappropriate as a serious career. He first undertook an apprenticeship in Instrument Making and Repairing from 1969 to 1974, followed by further training from 1974 to 1983, eventually becoming an Electronic Service Engineer and a Product Specialist. As an Engineer he worked in the fields of Industrial, Bio-Research, and Bio-Medical Instrumentation.

In those years Stephen began private study in painting, working successively with three professional artists between the years 1970 and 1982, while refining his interest in the observation of landscape, fauna, and flora. 1983 was a major turning point in his life as he was then able to devote himself full-time to painting. Now, more than twenty-five years later, he has exhibited his work extensively in his native Australia and become celebrated not only for his extraordinary depictions of wildlife, but for his phenomenal technique in bringing animals to life.

While his early work was in oils, beginning around 1984 Stephen began experimenting with acrylic media. His scientific background enabled him to develop innovative techniques in their use, allowing him to render the finest detail, while at the same time suggesting an atmospheric setting for his subjects. He has lectured and written about his acrylic painting techniques, which have been featured in such prominent magazines as Australian Artist Magazine and The Artist's Palette.


A second turning point in his career occurred in 1990 when he entered his first major acrylic conservation-based painting, Rosella's Revenge, in the $50,000 "Wildlife Art Prize" competition sponsored by James Hardie Industries. The painting was selected as a finalist and included in the national tour of the exhibition. The focus of Stephen's painting soon became the link between conservation and the preservation of endangered species and since that time he has concentrated solely on the depiction of wildlife. Like the great naturalist-artists of the past, Stephen studies his subjects intensely, and his paintings are as much individual portraits as they are scientific representations of the species seen in their ever-decreasing native habitats.

His extraordinary acrylic painting technique and recent depictions of parrots and macaws has drawn the attention of the Australian fine art materials company Matisse Derivan, the producer of the acrylic paints that Stephen exclusively uses. They now feature his techniques on their bi-monthly internet newsletter and are using his images of exotic macaws in the packaging of their Primary Colour Set of Structure Formula Acrylics and Mediums, newly available in the United States.

Recently, Stephen Jesic's painting "The Matriarch" was selected for the 51st annual exhibition of the Society of Animal Artists. Stephen used Matisse acrylic colors for this award-winning piece; his personal favorite acrylic paint.

"If you're passionate about your art, then be passionate about your acrylic paint. Matisse Acrylics and Mediums provide me with an extensive range of vibrant, highly pigmented, lightfast ASTM-rated colours with a long open time, giving me a huge range of techniques from thin transparent washes to thick opaques. Everything that I needed to complete 'The Matriarch.' "

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