The Story of an Artist
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 Steven Mikel
The rich sepia tones of Steven Mikel'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.
Usually working from a very detailed pencil sketch in his sketch book, 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.
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.