Painting portraits in oil is for me the greatest challenge of artistic expression. As a native of London, England, I've had the opportunity to make frequent visits to the National Gallery (one of the world's great art treasures) and other fine collections in Europe. As much as I admire the many masterworks in various genres, portraits have the most profound effect on me. In particular, I am held by the characterization that is clearly evident in many works of the Old Masters. Artists of influence for me (for their characterization and painterly quality) include Hals, Rembrandt, and Velazquez.
With the aid of a camera and other optical devices, rendering a likeness can be a relatively straightforward task for the portrait artist today. Rendering character, however, remains the real challenge. Using techniques adapted from the Old Masters, I find genuine satisfaction in exploring character and rendering the true person through oil on canvas.— DT
One of the most valuable activities for any artist is the study of master works by great artists of the past. There are many resources available but there's simply no substitute for studying the actual works up close and in person. This means traveling to the cities, museums, and galleries where master works are displayed. Traveling for art can be time consuming and expensive but the rewards, both educational and inspirational, are considerable. Listed below are some of the places in North America, Europe, and Asia that I've visited in recent years, with links to museum websites. I invite you to join me in a virtual tour.— DT
Visitors to the artist's studio discover that Turner uses only the best materials available, including hand-made brushes from England, high-quality linen canvas, paints made from the finest pigments, and a heavy-duty oak easel suitable for full-length portraits.
In addition to the usual supplies for drawing and painting, Turner's studio also includes professional camera and lighting equipment for taking reference photos of his subjects. Clients have the option of being photographed here instead of at their home or business.
Clients may also browse through frame catalogues and samples, and discuss with the artist his recommendations for an appropriate frame for the finished work. Frame samples are available in a variety of traditional and contemporary styles to suit the overall mood of a portrait in its final setting.
Turner's studio also includes a reference library of great artists from early Renaissance to modern, and catalogues of paintings from many of the finest museums in Europe and north America.
Visitors to the artist's studio often are surprised at how clean and orderly it is. There's a reason for it. Says Turner: "After hundreds of years, many Old Master paintings still retain a brilliance and luminance of color. Of course, that's no accident. The artists were craftsmen thoroughly familiar with the materials at their disposal. Their techniques involved careful and precise application of specific pigments and binding mediums. They knew that sloppy habits in the practice of their craft would produce dull work and muddy color. Today we have the convenience of tube oil colors. But even so, it takes great care to paint 'clean' and produce a work with luminous color. Maintaining a clean palette is essential. I find that it's a state of mind that begins with the palette and extends throughout the studio."
To arrange an informative visit to Turner's studio, please use the form on the Contact page.
Go to Turner's Music page.