Rob Zeller on his Inspirations, Favourite Tools, and Teaching Figurative Art
Rob Zeller has been painting in a realistic painting style for over 30 years. His education in art began with an extensive study of the human figure in the early 90’s, and continued with atelier training in the early 2000’s.
Rob’s passion and talent for realistic figurative painting led to a desire to pass on his knowledge to other artists, in the form of teaching. He says, “Since my own journey was such a meandering process, I have tried to simplify that process for other artists. One of the skills I have developed as a teacher is to be able make complex subjects easy-to-grasp for beginners.” This concept and skill is showcased in Rob’s new book, The Figurative Artist’s Handbook. The book features lessons in drawing and painting figures and portraits, keeping a sketchbook, creative and compositional processes of contemporary artists, and great movements in figurative art history.
Rob cites his main sources of inspiration as music, religion, and literature. Experimental for a realist painter, his medium of choice varies. He previously painted with encaustics, oil on paper mounted on wood. Presently, as he prepares for an exhibition at Booth Gallery in New York, he is working with more traditional means: oil on linen. The figure study above was done in preparation for that show.
Of his preferred brushes, he says, “My favourite, the real workhorse for me, is the Princeton #2 Round 4050R. I have found that having a few of those on hand at any time is key to working through a tricky passage. I then turn to the #2 Kolinsky sable to finish up details. I like [Princeton’s] entire line of kolinsky sables, actually.”
And of his art and teaching journey, Rob concludes, “I’ve accomplished a lot up to this point. But I would like everyone to know that my best work is yet to come.”
Rob’s book, The Figurative Artist’s Handbook, A Contemporary Guide to Figure Drawing, Painting, and Composition is available on Amazon and internationally through Barnes and Noble and other booksellers, anywhere English language books are sold.
The Figurative Artist’s Handbook on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1580934528/
Rob Zeller: http://www.robertzeller.com/
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