about and contact

Matt Harvey, British contemporary portrait artist, based in Devon, UK

I am a contemporary British artist and portrait painter based in Devon UK. My oil paintings and portraits in oil and marble are celebrated for the depth of their humanity and vibrant character.

I graduated from Wimbledon School of Art in London after studying Fine Art, Sculpture. I developed an art practice making abstract sculpture and painting, and also continued to work on the art of portrait painting. I became increasingly interested in renaissance and baroque painting techniques, and had the opportunity to study under James Scrace, a pupil of Pietro Annigone’s, who taught me the techniques of the Italian masters.

I continue to use these techniques in my oil portraits, gaining commissions from a wide variety of clients.

I am interested in the optical effects of painting in oil. In my portraits I use the grisaille method, painting in a monotone and then building up layers of glaze. Here the optical effect happens when light passes through each glaze like through a stained glass window, giving a luminous quality to the portraits.

Another optical effect is that of working in dots, in a pointillist style. I am not a strict pointillist and do not follow Seurat’s methods exactly but I love the effect of pure colours working together on the painting where they mix optically in the eye of the viewer.

My portrait paintings have been filmed in real time and show the process of painting these glazes on grisaille, to provide inspiration and instruction to artists learning this technique. My youtube channel, like all my social media, is named mattharveyart.

Whether in glazes or dots, my paintings give the impression that the painting and the sitter are illuminated from within. Each person has a beautiful inner life that is evoked through this beautiful method.

I also paint landscapes in both these styles.

I also love the discipline of drawing from the figure, and combined with my love of dance this gives rise to another aspect of my work, painting the figure in motion. I like to paint the dancing figure using both glazing and pointillism. I have created a body of work that combines all my passions and interests. The dancing figure, painted (drawn with a brush) as a sculpture.

As well as painting in oils I also make bronze portraits and carve portraits directly in marble. All the marble I use is sourced in the famous Carrara mountains in Italy, the same marble as used by sculptors such as Michelangelo during the renaissance.

Please send a message in the comments box below, or call to discuss commissioning a painting.

Tel: +44 (0)7855 789 676


2 Comments on “about and contact

  1. Hi Matt came across your video like what you are doing I have found that if you can get the drawing right at the begining things usually work outso I agree with the point you made. As a self “taught” I nick other people ideas and methods from youtube etc which is great, so thank you for posting the video it’s rekindled an interest I explored without much success.

    • Thanks Pete I’m glad it has rekindled your interest! I posted this video because it was the kind of thing I was looking for myself when trying to learn how to glaze oil paints.

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