technique and inspiration

about the artist
technique and inspiration
kirby sattler art
details of paintings
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available original paintings



Technique and Inspiration The artist states: “I have always had an interest in indigenous cultures, their costumes and their relationship with nature. Growing up in the west offered countless museum collections and access to libraries filled with artifacts and research materials. It was natural for me to study the Plains Indians. The writings of Joseph Campbell continue as a major influence for my work.”
Sattler’s portraits have evolved over the 30 years of perfecting the technique. He is not mainly concerned with being historically accurate. His art interpretations give a feeling of authenticity without being specific to a particular tribe. The paintings begin with reference materials, finding a visual to inspire an image. The composites of facial features from different sources; books, fotos, models, imagination, combined, result into a simple rough sketch on the canvas, establishing the scale and composition of the painting. Next is an underpainting to establish values, then, the process of layering begins. Every painting has countless numbers of washes, varying the degrees of opacity and transparency to achieve depth, working light to dark, dark to light, continually adding highlights and details until the desired effect is obtained. Every canvas has as many as two dozen layers on any part of the painting. Sattler prefers working with Golden heavy bodied acrylics on linen canvas. the palette consists of titanium white, cadium yellow, yellow oxide, yellow ochre, raw sienna, raw umber, burnt sienna, ultramarine blue, cadium red and carbon black. He thins the paints with water only, mixing colors from varying degrees of opaqueness to transparent washes. he uses from 4 inch house brushes to 10/0 liners.