Figurative Paintings

Portrait of Steve

I got around to finish 3 paintings today:

Portrait of Paul, which I had been working for the past 3 weeks. A painting for a competition that I had been working on for some time. And this portrait of Steve, which I worked on it after completing Paul’s Portrait.

I had initially painted the entire painting with raw umber, and I thought about stopping there, but with two 20 minute sessions remaining, I decided to put colors. The images shown were taken after each 20 minute sessions.

March 27, 2024
Figurative Paintings

How to Start Painting

There are many ways to begin painting with oil, but I like to simply begin painting, drawing with oil, rather than spending whole lot of time using charcoal or pencil.

I might make a composition sketch and/or color study, but when I am ready, I simply begin to paint and adjust as I go.

More than ever, I have grown to enjoy painting fast, but for the mostly, I spend about 2 to 3 weeks on a painting. It’s fair to say that I enjoy painting slow, too.

In progress, after 12 hours of painting.

Two weeks later

January 19, 2024

Three weeks later

After intense 2 weeks of painting, I focused on fine-tuning the painting. Although the photo doesn’t capture all the changes, this portrait has gone through multiple surgeries this week… can you spot all the changes from the previous week?

January 26, 2024
Figurative Paintings

On Seeing and mixing Colors

After years of painting, I conclude that it takes really long time to see.

Moreover, it takes even more time to mix that color.

This is why I usually paint a small color study—from a live model—before embarking on a bigger painting.

This is a small color study

And, what we often fail to understand about painting is its chemistry.

Paint is made of all different parts of earth: soil, minerals, precious metals, oil, etc.

To paint seriously means one also needs to have a thorough understanding of chemistry of colors, painting surfaces, and time.


2023 Annual Art Sale

Dec 7 – Dec 23, 2023


The Art Students League of New York

Phyllis Harriman Mason Gallery

215 W 57th Street, New York

Title: Composition One – 30 inches x 30 inches – El Capitan

The League’s Annual Art Sale is a rare opportunity to bring home the work by current League students at affordable prices.

Composition One – El Capitan

For the past several years, I have participated in showing—and selling—my paintings at the Art Students League. Throughout the year, I dedicate my best waking hours painting live models, but I get out of my way to paint at least one Plein Air Painting for the League’s Holiday show. All of my Plein Air Painting at the Holiday show have sold and found their home.

This summer, I visited a few national parks, including Yosemite National Park. I arrived there in the evening, so there wasn’t that I could see, but driving into it in the darkness, there it was, El Capitan, dressed in black and holding the night sky. During the day, I hiked up to it for a close examination of the rock formation. Then I looked up, standing in front of the giant granite wall that dominates the west end of Yosemite Valley—this is what I saw, a beautiful rock that is full of light and shades from the heavens.

December 6, 2023


December 7, 2023 — The following painting is now showing. Thank you and congratulations to the collector of ‘Composition One’.

December 7, 2023

There are many ways to paint, but one of the best way, in my mind, is to paint as fast as one can from life. Another great way, is to paint slow. It takes time to be comfortable with all the movements and all, but it’s a beautiful way to see the world in a whole new way.

Bird-of-Paradise – 18 inches x 14 inches

This painting was completed in 2 sittings, and I love vibrant colors on this. I have wanted to show this painting in a show one day, and it’s on view for first time.

Maria Del Mar

Maria Del Mar – 11 inches x 14 inches

December 8, 2023 — Thank you and congratulations to the collector of ‘Bird-of-Paradise’.

Happy to inform you that this portrait was created from 100% reality, and wasn’t created by some computer program. Obviously, there is only one ‘Real’ and original and tangible copy. Painting from life is not for everyone, but only for those that can stomach the reality.

December 8, 2023

La Rosa de Maria #5

December 20, 2023 — Thank you and congratulations to the collector of ‘Maria Del Mar’.

December 20, 2023

Cornrows in Harlem

December 21, 2023 — One of my favorite paintings is now on view at the League.

Cornrows in Harlem — 20 inches x 16 inches
December 21, 2023

Gallery Hours

Monday – Friday: 10 AM – 9 PM
Saturday & Sunday: 10 AM – 4 PM

Related Content

A photo of a gentleman taking a photo of my 2022 Holiday Painting, A scene from the Adirondack Mountains
Je, painting from life, October 2023
Figurative Paintings

Painting from Life, One More Time

Many of my portraits from life are executed over consecutive days and weeks. This one, however, was done in just a few hours, and is one of my favorite from this year.

Related Things To Do in NYC

Speaking of painting from life, If you are in NYC, go see the Met Exhibition, Manet/Degas. There are some exceptional paintings from both painters.

On view: September 24, 2023–January 7, 2024

Figurative Paintings

Remembering Twin Towers

Oil on Canvas

40 inches x 30 inches

Figurative Paintings Portrait Paintings

Painting one more portrait

Even after painting so many portraits, I still wonder why I paint portraits at times.

All the awkwardness and doubt disappears, however, when I am painting again, in front of a sitter, surrounded by pleasing smell of oil paint.

So to keep things simple, I strive to paint one more portrait, and then another, just like placing one foot after another—constantly moving forward.

Figurative Paintings Portrait Paintings

31 Trillion

The total amount of outstanding borrowing by the U.S. Government, as of May 27, 2023, is $31.47 Trillion dollars.

There has been months negotiation about raising the debt-ceiling, and apparently, if the government can’t agree on raising it, it will cause—basically—a financial meltdown.

Figurative Paintings

There is no beginning or ending…

Do you ever wonder how to start or end a painting? I do. All the time.

I truly think that there is no good way to end a painting but to think that there is always more can be done—it’s just that I decide to wait putting down next strokes.

A similar dilemma exists when beginning a painting. Where do I place the head? What’s going to happen to the feet if the head is painted too big? Is it possible that arms won’t fit inside the canvas? Then, I put aside all the small details and paint one thing at a time, and it is as if the painting has existed all along—and I watch how the painting falls into place.

Figurative Paintings

1000+ Instagram Artists and Friends

Thank you all for your continued support for my paintings. It has been humbling yet incredible years of painting.

I am so excited to inform you that my Instagram account has organically grown to over 1000 followers, made up of artists and art enthusiasts all over the world.

Growing audience takes time, but I expected it to take time since I have grown my audience slowly and without paying for followers. I understood earlier on that it’s better to have 100 great friends and followers than unauthentic ones. I suppose I will promote my works in an effort to sell my works more rapidly, but I will decide on that later.

To thank and in response to those that requested to view my works closely, Below is a slideshow based on my most viewed and liked reel. Thank You.

Again, thank you for all the likes, follows, and comments. Enjoy the slide show below—swipe to see all of them—-and Good day! – Je

  • Bird Next
  • Figurative Painting by Je - Portrait of Johnny

The original Instagram Reel