Hjalmar Hagelstam Paints a Counterpoised Portrait of Öde Nerdrum | The Cave of Apelles

Hjalmar Hagelstam Paints a Counterpoised Portrait of Öde Nerdrum

Jan-Ove Tuv visits Nerdrum’s studio to observe his pupil Hjalmar Hagelstam as he continues to work on a portrait of Öde Nerdrum.

In the full video you will learn about:

  • Setting up the model according to what looks best
  • Manipulating studio surroundings to get correct light & mood
  • Pacifying and smoother transitions and liven up shadows
  • Taking time to just think and observe
  • Not letting things outcompete the expression
  • Employing diagonal composition
  • Messing things up & then improving it!
  • Accepting that it takes a while to “warm up”
  • Fusing a soft totality with sudden, decisive marks
  • Understanding your priorities
  • How the background can underline the mood
  • Hjalmar’s love for Öde, the model
  • Getting an expression, not just likeness
  • The importance of geometry

▶️ Full video (1 hour): https://www.patreon.com/posts/hjalmar-paints-83253321
🎵 Full audio: https://caveofapelles.com/podcast

Fergus Ryan
Matthias Proy
Børge Moe


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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"