Painter Robert Catapano creates bold, expressive portraits using an intuitive approach. See more of his work on his Instagram page.
I don’t consider myself a true artist; just more of a painter. I’m not schooled—no Art101, color theory or art history—just self-taught. I just paint.
I’ve drawn, painted and sculpted for as long as I can remember. My favorite subjects are human faces. What first attracts us to each other are the eyes, then the nose and mouth—the most sensuous parts.
I try to express the emotion I see in my subject’s face, and bring it to the canvas. I am told that my paintings can be called “Figurative Expressionist” and that works for me.
I paint portraits of people I know, or people I’ve known, or even people I’ve just seen in passing. Some people just have a special face—something that makes them different, unusual, striking or alluring. Not necessarily a handsome or pretty face, but more of an “exotic” face for lack of a better word.
People often ask about the colors I use for the portraits, or how I decide what colors to use. I never start with a chosen palette of colors. Most, if not all the artists I know, begin with a palette of chosen colors to use in their work. I approach color choice differently, probably because I never went to school for art.
I usually don’t begin my portraits with an initial sketch—I just start painting right on the canvas with either charcoal or black paint. I then decide on a color for the face; then choose colors that I think look good with the first color I laid down.
I do have to admit, however, that the first color almost always changes. As a result, so do the rest of the colors around it. I have heard from those who see my work that I have a lot of great texture in my painting. This is due to the fact that I’ve painted over and over my image, adding layer upon layer, in my search to find the right colors.
I usually paint with acrylic on canvas. At times, I incorporate oils, chalk, paper and cloth, but for the most part, I use just acrylic on canvas.
For my sculptures, I use a lot of clay and found objects. They look more like assemblages than sculpture.
Where my art goes from here, I am not quite sure. Hopefully my audience will find meaning and enjoyment from what I create.
Artist Robert Catapano invites you to follow him on Facebook.
Want to stay current on cutting edge business articles from Artsy Shark, plus artist features, and an invitation to the next Call for Artists? Subscribe to our twice-monthly Updates, and get a free e-book on Where to Sell Art Online right now!