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Digital Subscriptions > The Artist > Sep-17 > Richard Burger

Richard Burger

Susie Hodge discovers how Richard Burger achieves his powerful oil portraits, which are influenced by his time in Italy and in London

IN CONVERSATION

Born in Genoa, Italy, Richard Burger studied in New York and London at art schools internationally recognised for their independent approach to teaching art and their success at nurturing accomplished, often groundbreaking, artists. Now living and working in London, he recalls his formative years before he became an artist, and the influences that affected his career choice and painting style: ‘I grew up in an artistic household where I was always encouraged to pick up colours and a paintbrush. Both my mother and my sister were artists.’ Richard’s sister Carol is the subject of the portrait that was accepted for the 2016 BP Portrait Award (right).

My Father Thinking of Me, oil on canvas, 471⁄4 × 311⁄2in (120 × 80cm). ‘One of my first portraits from life; I used a mixture of sittings and photos, partly because the sitter tended to nod off during the sittings, and I was determined to get the eyes right. The technique I developed with this painting was to use a darker skin tone for the outline and then to build the skin tones dark to light in subsequent sittings.’
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About The Artist

Welcome to an inspiration-packed issue with great demonstrations to follow in all media to help practise and develop your skills, from Paul Riley's focus on how to depict glass and reflections in watercolour, Chris Forsey's mixed-media demonstration of a light-filled Australian coastal scene to Rob Wareing's feature on painting skin tones and portraits in oils. With an insight into up-and-coming Richard Burger's approach to portraiture and Richard Pikesley's use of studio objects as tabletop still lifes, we also step into the shoes of professional artists to see what motivates them and how they approach their work. Young artist Marie Antoniou urges you to express yourself in acrylics with just one brush, Robert Dutton explains the rules of perspective while Paul Talbot-Greaves shows how to achieve depth in landscape compositions, Barry Herniman paints boats and harbours, and Liz Seward suggests the perfect antidote to painter's block by turning to collage. For help with colour mixing, Julie Collins turns our attention to the variety of whites available, and Catherine Strong tells us how to keep our greens clean and vibrant. Enjoy the issue and email your feedback and comments to us at theartistletters@tapc.co.uk We love to hear from you!
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