G’day viewers my name’s Graeme Stevenson, and I’d like to invite you to come on a journey of creativity and learning and adventure through the series Colour In Your Life. There’s an artist in every family throughout the world. Lots of times there’s an artist deep down inside all of us as well. So grab your kids, your Brothers, your Sisters, you Aunties, Uncles, and Mums and Dads, and come and see how some of the best artists do what they do. (Music Plays) [Graeme] Well g’day viewers and welcome back to Colour In Your Life. Well as you can see, the fantastic and amazing Golden Gate Bridge in the wonderful city of San Francisco in the united States of American. We’re over here filming some incredibly talented people and we’re going to be crossing the country meeting some extraordinary individuals, some really talented human beings and you’re going to see some amazing stuff. But we’re here now and we’re literally going to cross the country with this. But come along for the ride – you’re going to have a great time. Well g’day viewers and welcome to Colour In Your Life in the USA. Well we’re down at a little town in Southern California called Murrieta, and I’m with an amazing talented man, Mr Richard Stergulz. How are you bud? [Richard] I’m doing fantastic. And yourself? [Graeme] Welcome to the show. Fantastic. I mean when you see Richard’s work today, you’re going to see one of the great portrait artists of the United States as far as I’m concerned. And the reason that is, is that this young man here, went to the American Art Academy in Chicago. One of the most prestigious schools in the country and also one of the toughest ones as well. [Richard] Yes it was. [Graeme] Tell me a bit about that. [Richard] It started off in a young age and I decided that I wanted to go art school instead of just being a factory worker. I applied for the American Academy of Art and they accepted my portfolio which made me a happy artist. [Graeme] Yeah. [Richard] And when in that first year was really tough; that first year they taught fundamentals. [Graeme] Yeah. [Richard] It really honed my skills. [Graeme] Yeah. [Richard] You know, we had excellent teachers. We had four projects, and in that four projects we had four paintings that we had to do, so there was sixteen total every month. [Graeme] It’s really renaissance training at its best. in a sense, when you go to this particular academy which is regarded as one of the best in the world. And when you see Richard’s work today, you will well and truly see that he is one of the great people that’s actually come out of that institution. You’re going to paint a chef [Richard] Yes. [Graeme] today. A picture, you actually got this off somebody else, the picture itself didn’t you [Richard] Yes, a fantastic photographer in Wisconsin. [Graeme] Okay. [Richard] And he was gracious enough to be able to let me paint this. I love the photo; there’s so much character to this guy. So I’ve painted it once already. I’m going to do a demo today for everyone, so we can talk about color, we can talk about value, the relationships between a warm and a cold colour as apposed to the color itself. You know, everyone’s heard this and the light is cool and the shadows are warm. So we’ll go over that and we’ll talk a lot about that. I’ll be teaching as much as I can and talk to you people about doing this painting so that we get a really nice, successful depth in our painting, the rending itself. [Graeme] And you’ll see a lot of the other fantastic pieces that Richard does, I mean some verging on the surreal a little bit. There’s lots of mythology, lots of history, you know, you’re a very science base person as well, with the way you think about things. But lets get into this painting, and go along for the ride with this amazing human being. [Graeme] Okay Rich, I can actually see that you’ve sketched out this particular piece in charcoal with the varying tonal aspects of the picture. Can you explain that to us as well? [Richard] Yes, I like to map everything out and I really like to map out where my light source is coming from. So the light source is coming from here, we have a shadow side of the face, and there’s only two families. There’s a light family, and a shadow family – that’s it. I wanted to make sure I get the planes, and that really helps get the depth. [Graeme] Now I noticed that you’ve actually got a caulking gun there as well. Now I’ve never seen anyone use a caulking gun with paints that size. Ah yeah, what’s the motivation behind that? [Richard] I love this brand paint, and there’s not to many of them out there that I’ve found, that come in this ten ounce tubes. There from Classic Artists Oils, they’re really creamy and buttery and I just love the consistency, so I’m really happy with this brand. But here again, you know you’ve got this or you’ve got this. [Graeme] Yeah. [Richard] You know this here will last me a year. This will last me probably three paints if that. So this I really love and it’s very simple. Caulking gun, pop it in there, pull the top off and [Graeme] Boom, away you go. [Richard] squeeze the paint. [Graeme] That’s great. And do they come with those ends as well? [Richard] Yes. [Graeme] They do? That’s fantastic. [Richard] Yeah, they come all closed of and then you just snip the end and keep it’s still moist, still wet. [Graeme] What a great idea. [Richard] Great paint. So I’m going to finish off squeezing out my palette here. I usually keep all my warms on one side; I keep all my cools on the other side. Leave a big pile of white down here and you know, don’t pass out if you see me squeeze out a lot of white; I use a lot of white so. [Graeme] Lets see you do that then. [Richard] Brace yourself. [Graeme] Just squeeze it all out. [Richard] We get a nice big chunk of paint. Courageous. Courage. I’ll put a little bit of mars black on here, just cause I want some deeper color in there. So I just use black a little bit sparingly Black is pretty powerful so if you do use black, sneak up on it, so that it doesn’t overpower the painting or your mixture. Alright. [Graeme] Yellow ocher. [Richard] That’s it. Alright, so you can see I have warms over here, I have only three cools. Have a really, really small palette I’ve got primaries, I’ve got a couple of secondaries so, I’m ready to go. [Graeme] Fantastic. [Richard] And here I use Turpenoid. [Graeme] Okay. [Richard] Turpenoid it is non-oder, you need still ventilation. So if you’re at home open up the windows, have a fan blowing, keep it away from you a little bit. Because at the end of the day of painting, if you’re going to be painting for six hours, eight hours or so, you will get a dull headache. Okay so I’m all set, I’m going to grab a bigger brush. Take a look at where I’m, where I’m going to start. Usually I sit back and look at a painting, and paint it in my head for a little while to kinda map it out. Almost like a chess game, I want to be three moves ahead while I’m painting. So we have light source coming from this way. I’m going to get rid of all this white at first, going to be pretty wet. I’m start off with a cool, so I have my Prussian blue [Graeme] So really broad strikes, just coming down. [Richard] Yeah. I’m really just trying to cover the white. [Graeme] Yep. [Richard] I’m not painting yet. and if it runs into my figure a little bit – so be it. [Graeme] Yep. [Richard] You know like I said we’ve got to go back to that, that talk about artists as being courageous when they paint. I I have so many timid painters and it shows in their painting by the time they’re done. Go in and pop that in there, don’t worry if everything overlaps. [Graeme] So what was the most powerful piece of information you think you learn’t from the academy? [Richard] It was actually to be able to render a light source so that things looked three-D, instead of flat. So if you see this right in here, this dark that comes down the face. That’s called a core shadow, this is also called a core shadow. This is a core shadow right in here off this nose. Then you have a little bit of reflected light, a little bit of reflected light, that helps to turn your image, your object. So that’s a must – has to be in there. And that’s what the academy really showed me. So right now just to get rid of this white. Alright, now I’m going to water it down just a little bit more, and I’m going to go off into the whites where I think that shadow would be. Even bring some of it in the face. Like I said, overlapping is good. [Graeme] So you’re really not precious about this at all? [Richard] No. I put this down as quickly as I did. This right here tells the story of where that light source is coming from already. So now I’m just going to take a warm and I’m going to grab some of this burnt sienna. And I usually keep it very simple in the beginning of the painting. And I’m going to go over the whole face. [Graeme] Wow. [Richard] One quick spot of warmth where the lights are. And I’m going to take this same mixture, and once again I’m just going to dilute it a little bit more, and I’m going to go into the hat. See its a touch lighter than the forehead? [Graeme] Yes. [Richard] I want to keep that because the forehead value, his skin value, is darker than the value of the hat. And now another wash, and this time I’m going to grab the burnt sienna and little bit of the Prussian blue. This will go off in to a little bit of a green feel. But I’m going to start to develop a little bit more of the shadow. And sometimes what I do to see my full value range up on my painting, is to take just one scoop of white – just white, that’s it, nothing else. And pop it somewhere where you can see it. So now I can get a good look at how light this will be compared to the skin. And I can even go with the opposite as well, with the background, and I can scoop a little bit of it right along that hat. So you see I’m starting to get some contrast now. [Graeme] You’ve got such a variety of art work that you do, from surrealism to professional portraits for people on a commission basis. But some of the other pieces that I think are just fascinating, is pictures like Persephone, which is just a fantastic piece, and a lot of mythology that you use as well. The portrait that you did of Zeus, with the lightning rods coming through his hands and the clouds, is just amazing. What’s your motivation to do pieces like that? [Richard] I beileve in the universe telling me things here and there. And for a while there I was getting back and forth with Greek mythology. So in each one of the paintings, I put what relates to them in their stories. And Gustav Klimt: what a pioneer. I just love his compositions. So I wanted to incorporate them both, that old world plus some of the newer thoughts, the contemporary thoughts from me. [Graeme] And they are fantastic pieces, they are just absolutely magnificent. [Richard] Thank you. I’ve got a clean brush right here. I’m going to mix up a little bit of some half tones. And usually I do that as I grab white first. Keeps my white clean. And I’m just going to do the traditional mix cad red, yellow ocher and then raw sienna. Mix up a nice big pile. I’m not using as much turpentine anymore, cause I don’t want the paint runny anymore. I want it nice and opaque, so what I usually do is I go in the light source, I’ll pop in a shape and judge it while its up here. I’m trying to think of the planes of the face. And right now all I’m doing is tiling in here, again I’m keeping it very simple. Now this is where I go back into the shadow again. So what I’m going to do, is I’m going to take a bit of the burnt sienna, mix it up with that flesh. Now this, as I start to go off into the shadows isn’t as opaque – it’s a little bit thinner. And all I’m going to do is just tile it right next to my light source, going off into my shadow. This is what’s called a turning edge – a turning temperature. So that this cheek here, turns back into the face, so that we get a really good solid three-D cheek bone that’s sitting there. [Graeme] Your journey as an artist have taken you all over the world as well. You’ve painted various paintings in locations right across the planet. Some of the ones we’re just going to pop up now, one called Mamma Mia, you know you’ve got some great stories that go with these as well. And there’s another one that I think is just a beautiful piece of work. This is a real man, he you were saying was Geppetto, he was actually making puppets in a shop. [Richard] Yes, he was phenomenal – what a craftsman. These puppets that he was making, the dolls, the birds, everything that he had made was just phenomenal. [Graeme] There was a gentleman in a store, he looked like he was an old war veteran, long hair and a beard. And you said you were just sort of leaning across snapping shots of him, because the light was just fantastic as it came through the back window onto his head. [Richard] That was really good lighting. I couldn’t have set up professional photography lights and gotten better lighting on that one. [Graeme] That’s great. I can understand by watching your technique now, the reason that so many people come to you and get their portraits commissioned. [Richard] I really enjoy doing portraits and I really enjoy meeting the clients as well. Most of them are just phenomenal people to begin with. [Graeme] Yep. [Richard] It’s an honour for me to be able to portray that in its own. Not to mention the fact that I get to paint. I at this point, I’m going off in to that reflected light, and I’m starting to fill things in. At this point you shouldn’t be able to see the numbers on the painting any more. [Graeme] Okay. Red is three. [Richard] Red is three. And I’m just going to roughly put in some of the folds here, keeping some of the edges soft. I don’t want to keep too harsh. Alright, now I’m going to get into that hat a little bit. Here again I’m just tiling, I’m putting that paint up there – haven’t really blended much. Now the only other thing I have left to block in right at this point now is his hankercheif. So I have the cad red medium and I have a little bit of the alizarin crimson. This is going to be really intense, but that’s okay. I would rather you start off with more intense color and then eutralise them as you go; it’s easier than to try to bring back a color. Alright for the small work I’m going to take the specs off. Once again very simple, I’m just going to use straight black. I want to pop in the pupils first. One of the reasons why I like to put in the pupils first, is cause I want to make sure that the eyes are looking in the same direction. I’m going to give this guy blue eyes to match the background. And I start down at the bottom where the light source is going through the eye. Now at this point I’m going to go into the sclera – the white of the eyeball. [Graeme] There’s this one piece that I think is just a magnificent piece of work. Its called Survivor, it’s of a young lady and the skin tones that you’ve actually put into this piece. And this young woman’s eyes, a lass that’s gotten over breast cancer but what a magnificent piece. The expression in that girl’s face is incredible. [Richard] Oh, thank you. Yeah, you have somebody go through something like that, it changes you. It makes you a stronger person. [Graeme] Now there was one piece you were telling me about before, about a gentleman who was a fireman. And he really saved a lot of people and some houses as well. I mean sacrificed his own safety to look after [Richard] Yes, he did. other people. [Richard] His crew, they were in the fires and all seven here in Southern California, and he was about the only truck left. He saw this flag at this persons house and he said I’m gonna save this house. Ran over grabbed that flag, threw it in the truck and they went back in there and they saved the rest of the community from then out. All of them are heroes. [Graeme] Amazing human being. [Richard] That was really nice, they had a gathering after that and he presented the flag back to the owner of the house. [Graeme] Fantastic. [Richard] Very touching. [Graeme] You’ve got another piece called It’s Our Planet Too, and it’s a menagerie of the wonderful creatures that live in this world with us as well. [Richard] We share this rock so we have to be good to it, not only for us but for every living being on this planet. [Graeme] Yeah, it’s a beautiful piece of without without a doubt. [Richard] Okay, now that I have the internal pretty close to were I want it, I’m going to start to develop a little bit of the outside edges. [Graeme] Yes. [Richard] Look at how that feels like it turns just that little bit. And how hard this is, and it stops it from turning. Alright I’m just going to drag some of this neutral grey into some of these little creases towards the shadow. My partner, co-founder Leslie Sweetland, we’re going to open up an artists school and retreat so that we can offer workshops to artists from all over the world. And we’re going to have cottages so that the artists can stay and get taught by master teaches from all over the world as well. We are going to be ego friendly, we’re going to be self sustainable. [Graeme] To bring all all of these incredible people together in the one place, on a global bases I think would be just a fantastic opportunity for people. And I think that this idea is what Colour In Your Life’s all about as well. It’s about literally sharing this knowledge and enabling people to change there lives through creativity. If anybody wants to enquire about this, your website Richard, what is that? [Richard] It’s the green art house dot com. [Graeme] Okay, I think it would be just a way to change your life for the better under any circumstances, if you came along and be part of this amazing facility that Leslie and Richard are building. [Richard] Okay, well lets have some fun with that hair. [Graeme] Yeah absolutely. [Richard] Right now what I’m doing with the hair is just being free. It’s not so much that I’m painting right now but I’m drawing. Having fun – letting it, letting it just flow and wherever it lands, it lands. Make sure he keeps his attitude. [Graeme] It’s good fun isn’t it? [Richard] Yeah. I’m going to darken this just a little bit. I think it’s a little too white right now. And here at this point I am working it a little bit. I don’t want to deposit a whole lot of paint at this point. I want to use the tip so I’m kinda going straight in here and just flicking, so it’s a really nice light pressure. Almost looks like he has one of those fake mustaches glued on. On this side I got a little wild cause I wanted to show you that I can just wipe that right down with my back ground brush [Graeme] Yeah. [Richard] I can take some of this paint right here and just go right into it and it’s gone. Now go back into his jacket really quickly. And just that right there, our dark comes forward, light recedes, so as this gets developed further, this will get a little bit lighter, this will get a little bit darker. So he’ll pop forward. Okay, at this point I’m going to use my favourite brush. [Graeme] Your finger. [Richard] Favourite brush. And I’m just going to go in there and have a little fun in here, going back and forth just push it around. Lighter pressure here and there, harder pressure, you know, depending on what you’re looking for. [Graeme] It’s amazing the effects you can get with your finger. [Richard] Yeah. At this point what I’m going to do is I’m going to start to put on some planes of the face, so I’m going top add some highlights. And if you notice the way I was stoking my brush, pulling down at this point cause I want to make sure the ridges of the paint don’t catch the light. In a gallery when you show those paintings, if there’s ridges across there it’ll actually capture light. [Graeme] Yes. [Richard] So if I pull that down you won’t be able to see that light. [Graeme] Well this is amazing what you’ve done today. Incredible talent, you know not only do you do portraits, you do portraits of quite famous people as well. I mean Magic Johnson for a start, Muhammad Ali obviously for varying clients, and a lot of other quiet well known professional people. So if people want portraits done by Richard, they just should get in touch with him at his website. Now what’s your website again bud? [Richard] Stergulz art dot com. [Graeme] stergulzart.com and if you want a commission by this amazingly talented man, I would suggest you go into his website and get in touch with him as soon as you can. [Graeme] Okay guys, fantastic day with one of America’s great, master portrait artists. It was just amazing to see the techniques. Rich, thank you so much for showing us, it’s just been tremendous. Now you have two websites. [Richard] Yes. [Graeme] First one is? [Richard] thegreenarthouse.com [Graeme] Okay, and that’s where you can come along and be part and parcel of literally, the best people in the one location that are doing art and art for the right reason. There’s going to be so many people there doing amazing things. I think it’s just going to be a fantastic place. [Richard] Yes. [Graeme] Absolutely. [Richard] We’re going to have master workshops from teachers all over the world. [Graeme] It’ll be just sensational, I mean just amazing. And we’re going to be working very, very closely with these guys as well with Colour In Your Life. And the second website? Which is yours. [Richard] stergulzart.com [Graeme] Okay, now If you want commissioned portraits by this amazing human being, I would suggest you get in touch with Richard at that website. As you can see he’s quite an incredible human being. Also, and as I said we’re going to be working closely with these guys. We love being in America, it’s been fantastic being over here. But you can come to colourinyourlife.com.au and see what we’re doing. And also our Facebook page and our YouTube page, come in and talk to us there as well. We’re going to head off; we love this country and we love the people in it as well. But as we always say – remember, until we see you guys again: make sure you put some colour in your life. And we’ll see you next time. Bye guys. See you later. Bye now.