The Story of an Artist

MīKEL - (Steven Mikel) - Dark Roast Paintings


This gallery was originally a series of 30 posts on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Linked-In and gives an interesting illustrated history of Steven Mikel's development as an artist.


Some insight into the artist known as MīKEL

The rich sepia tones of MīKEL's work glow with an ‘earthy warmth’ and evoke a dynamic flux of shadow and light, interlinked with woven patterns and textures.


His realism paintings demonstrate his attention to detail and skill using watercolor techniques to produce almost a photographic likeness of his varied subjects and unique perspectives, while his mature abstract style has naturally evolved from favorite areas within his realism paintings and are inspired by the often missed details he sees.


Realism Process:

Usually working from a very detailed pencil sketch in his sketchbook, Steven sketches his composition lightly on d'Arches 300 lb rough watercolor paper. This initial sketch may be very loose with only a few lines and basic shapes or extremely detailed depending on the painting subject. Working from Lightest to darkest tones, and not using any masking techniques, he begins applying washes of liquid coffee, layering and painting around areas that will remain as highlights. Continuing with progressively darker washes he adds deeper shadows and details until the painting is complete.


Abstract Process:

Starting with a basic compositional intent, Mikel applies a manipulated under-painting of dark coffee washes to a stretched canvas. Once dry, he then systematically removes and applies additional layers of coffee using various absorbent materials, brushes, and implements to create the intricate sepia-toned abstractions.


Artist Statement

Artist Bio