Wednesday, January 30, 2013


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A recent commission.

"Pauline", 30x40cm oil on canvasboard, commission

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Portrait sketch in oils - Youtube demo

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An artist friend of mine on recently told me she would love to see how I painted.
So, I promised her to do a timelapse recording of  a painting session.
Of course, this turned out to be a lot harder to set up than I anticipated but after a lot of experimenting I found a setup that worked.
I've used my iPhone on a tripod with the Lapse-it Pro App. The good thing is that you can change a lot of the settings, like the recorded resolution, interval between captures and you can lock the focus, exposure and white balance so the movie doesn't flicker so much.

Portrait sketch in oils - Youtube demo
"Pedro Villarrubia for JKPP", 30x24cm oil panel, original available

Friday, January 25, 2013

Thursdaynight Life painting

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Last night in life painting class we were experimenting with light and shadow again, giving some interesting results. The room is almost completely dark, a spotlight is placed near the model and every artist uses a small LED-light to light his palette and canvas.

Yesterday we did two poses, each about 50 minutes.
These are my results, if you want to see what the rest of the group did you can check them out here:

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Yellow blouse

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Yellow Blouse Erik van Elven
"Yellow blouse", oil on panel, 24x30cm, available

For this painting I experimented with using a raw umber underpainting. I wanted to see if I could speed up the painting process if I created an underpainting first, not having to think about color but focussing just on shapes and values.
The underpainting went fine but in the coloring phase, I felt too restricted by the 'drawing' underneath and found it much more difficult to get the colors the way I wanted.

I'm happy with how the painting turned out but I think I'll stay with the alla-prima approach for my paintings for now..

Thursday, January 17, 2013

First plein air of the year

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I recently bought a pair of Muck Boots, following the advice of René Pleinair.
These boots should be able to keep your feet warm up to -20C. Not that I plan to go out painting in those temperatures but at least when it is -5 your feet will stay warm. And indeed they do work. They are not cheap but I guess you get what you pay for.

"Walking the dog", oil on panel, 30x24cm, available

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


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The last year or so my main subject has been portraits, yet I've never painted a self-portrait.
So, one of my painting goals for this year has been to paint a self portrait.

It was a lot harder than I thought, I squint a lot when I'm painting but when you do that when you're looking at yourself your expression changes, not very handy..

I tried to preserve the brushstrokes as much as possible, deliberately not blending.
It was a good learning experience and I will definitely do more of these in the future.

Reflection - Erik van Elven
"Reflection-001", oil on panel, 30x24cm, NFS

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Kline Howell for JKPP

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I'm trying to get a bit looser in my painting style, so the objective here was to use thicker paint and bolder brushwork.

I had a lot of fun creating this one.

Kline Howell for JKPP - Erik van Elven
"Kline Howell", oil on panel, 30x40cm, available

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!

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I just wanted to wish everyone a happy New Year, full of creativity.
Thanks to all the people who are following this blog, I hope you'll stay with me in 2013!

This painting I hadn't posted on my blog yet, it's a portrait I did of Ineke Kamps for the Julia Kay Portrait Party on

Portrat of Ineke Kamps by Erik van Elven
"Ineke Kamps", oil on canvas, 30x24cm, NFS
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