Marquetry is a highly crafted skill and each picture, depending on size, will utilise and incorporate hundreds of separate veneers which are blended together to make a stunningly beautiful masterpiece. Each individual piece can take many months, sometimes years, to complete.
Veneer is thin pieces of wood and in marquetry they are selected on the basis of colour, shade and grain. To gain the effect of the different colours used, pieces of veneer are collected from all over the world. The colours are completely natural and no pigment or paint is added, creating a wholly organic work of art. Each piece of art will utilise many varieties of veneer to emphasise the beauty and the spiritual nature of the wood.
This particular technique – sacred art in wood – is based on an art form called Moargh and is a highly refined version of Persian marquetry. In recent years, Persian Marquetry has reached great levels of refinement and has transformed the technique from what was considered merely a craft into a form of art.
There are numerous procedures undertaken in the complex process of creating a finished piece. The first stage involves delicately and skillfully cutting each veneer using a small fretsaw. Each piece of veneer is cut to size based on an original image and then it is glued to a strong board. Secondly all the cuts and small gaps between the veneers are filled with high quality polyester resin. Once the resin has dried the entire piece is then sanded down to reach an ultrafine 2000 grit finish. The finished piece is then either polished using French polish, varnish or lacquered. If lacquer is applied it is professionally sprayed onto the piece until a high gloss finish is achieved. All three of these methods bring out the beauty and complexity of the different coloured woods to great effect. A truly stunning piece of art then comes to life.
Portrait painting is regarded as one of the main branches of western art that underwent its greatest development during the Renaissance.
This was a period when the art of perspective was being perfected, allowing artists of that era to create a realistic illusion of three-dimensional form, transferred onto a two-dimensional flat panel / canvass. Also during the Renaissance new colour pigments and pioneering painting techniques in oil were introduced.
Portrait painting continues to be seen as one of the great pillars of art – the ability of skilled artists to capture the essence, character, expression and fine detail of the portrait subject.
The great works, by the old masters in particular, have a magnetism and life force to their paintings that are able to convey the life and soul of the subject to the viewer. Over its history various styles and techniques of portrait painting have developed in oil. From the traditional techniques of the old masters, later the alla prima – direct painting wet on wet – was made popular by the impressionist movement.
Portraiture requires the artist to develop strong drawing and observational skills, having acquired an extensive knowledge of colour harmony and applying value (relative lightness or darkness of a colour).
The history of fantasy art can be traced back to the mythology and folklore of many ancient cultures. Fantasy art combines imagination and direct observation of reality. Often fantasy art can convey dreams and spiritual themes, and aims to access deeper visionary magical experiences that can be expressed through the medium of art.
Fantasy artists often use male / female muses within the composition of a given theme to depict a possible heroic, mythical or imaginary figure. Fantasy artists, therefore, require both strong portrait and landscape painting skills to produce a painting. During the 20th century fantasy art has enjoyed a greater recognition within the art world and continues to capture the imagination in modern culture.