Galerie Vanasse - Art figuratif et portraits

commision a portrait
by Eric Vanasse

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When doing a portrait painting, every stroke of the brush that I apply is done with the intent to capture not only the likeness but also a mood specific to the sitter's personality. It is by seeking qualities of presence, light and harmony in my works that I can best pay tribute to the person that I paint.

I usually start a portrait by doing a monochromatic (grisaille) under-painting to work out the composition, get the likeness, refine the drawing and get a strong tonal relationship. When this foundation is solid, I then apply my colors on the under painting in a wet on wet approach that allows the beauty of the paint to shine with all of its subtleties. This takes much longer but the end result is more poetic and allows for a better emotional connection to the painting.


The classical methods of drawing and painting are no longer taught in almost all Canadian superior art schools.
I gained my knowledge and skills by studying rigorously under American and European classically-trained artists who founded two schools dedicated to the classical traditions, l'Atelier de Brésoles and the Bohemiarte School. The rest of my education was mostly self-taught by studying the works of masters from the renaissance to today. This path allowed me to merge the rich traditions of the past, the scientific knowledge of the last decades and a contemporary spontaneity that gives a breath of life to paintings.

In addition to my practical art training, I gained an extensive knowledge and unique perspective in art by doing a university major in Art History and by working for 15 years in museums, the last 10 of which I spent at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts where I was Head of Archives and Collection Management. I have since dedicated myself to the delightful pursuit of beauty that every canvas presents to me.

Member of the Portrait Society of Canada.