Shaun Roberts Begins and “Destroys” a Rough, Adrian Brouwer-like Self-Portrait at Nerdrum’s Studio | 🎨 School of Apelles | The Cave of Apelles

This summer, the Texan professor Shaun Roberts came to study in Norway, having recently won the World Wide Kitsch Competition for his portrait “The Messenger” — praised as a masterpiece by his tutor, Odd Nerdrum.
Roberts’ work is mainly inspired by the dutch genre painter Adrian Brouwer, emulating the loose technique used by masters such as Masaccio and Titian.
His expressed aim is to tell a story that has universal appeal, or, as Blake Snyder formulates it in Save the Cat: a story that even a caveman can understand, reverting to the most fundamental aspects of life and human psychology.
Jan-Ove Tuv observes as Mr. Roberts begins a new self-portrait using the mirror, to better grasp his approach to the coarse manner of painting.

In this video you will learn about:

  • Starting on a green canvas
  • Exploiting cool/warm-contrast
  • Blocking in shapes with a big brush and a rag
  • Exaggerating color in the beginning
  • What to do when stuck
  • Manipulating forms for compositional reasons
  • Getting the form before the story
  • “Destroying” it all with palette knife to avoid stiffness
  • Tightening the forms in a painterly manner



▶️ Full video (52 minutes):
🎵 Full audio:

Filmed and edited by Bork Nerdrum
Additional film credits to: Arely Morales

Fergus Ryan
Shaun Roberts
Matthias Proy
Børge Moe
Eivind Josten

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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"