Seth Fite Paints a Ram Skull | Demonstration of Andrew Wyeth’s Water Color Technique | The Cave of Apelles

Returning for his second stay at the Nerdrum Studio, Seth Fite has taken upon him the challenge of depicting the Binding of Isaac.
Influenced by the Kitsch philosophy, Fite recently founded the Louisville School of Painting in his home-state Kentucky, where he teaches traditional techniques, focusing on observations and inspiration from nature.

Seth Fite working on his depiction of The Binding of Isaac with Hjalmar Hagelstam modelling as Isaac.

The subdued, terre-verte-palette is ever present, emphasizing the gloomy atmosphere in his paintings. His mythic imagery and sensual rendering of skin, gives Fite’s work the aura of a crossover between Rembrandt and Andrew Wyeth.
Jan-Ove Tuv sits down with Fite to observe him as he starts a new painting with a water-based medium — a technique they are both devoted to.

▶️ Full video (1 hour 4 min):
🎵 Full audio:

Seth Fite doing an outdoor water color at the Nerdrum Studio.

In this video you will learn about:

  • Drawing first, to secure forms
  • Defining motif size as you go
  • Tips on brushes, paints and paper
  • Making the paper wet before painting
  • Starting with warm tones
  • Laying in general tone & the shadows first
  • The function of cool vs. warm tones
  • Ideas for glazing water colour
  • Using white gouache for highlights
  • Picking up paint with paper towel
  • Making areas wet again to soften transitions
  • Saving the glow by making shadows darker

The board used by Seth Fite in this video:

Video by Bork Nerdrum
Music by Hector Berlioz (performed by University of Chicago Orchestra & European Archive)

Fergus Ryan
Matthias Proy


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  • Apelles was asked why he touched and retouched his pictures with so much care, to which he replied:
    "I paint for eternity"