Emily Tjömsland

Q & A

Q & A

How long have you been a portrait painting artist and how did you get started?

I have drawn portraits all my entire life. Even as a young child I remember scribbling out the shapes and angles of faces. My profession as an artist, however, really started after I finished my degree in fine art.

That was when I started began painting what I wanted to paint. I took my academic background and dove into technique books of my favorite painters. As I began building my own body of work I started to develop my own style.

To me, painting a face is the ultimate challenge because it involves incredible accuracy and attention to detail. At the same time I love the challenge of bringing out what I see is most beautiful in a person from their photo.

What is your favorite medium?

I love Coral Painter, which is a digital painting program. I started out as an oil painter and then I became heavily involved with illustration because of my employment which has me making characters for animation, maps, and white board videos, etc. So I had to use it more comprehensively, more quickly, and with more variety that I craved and then I just mixed the two. My product is more of a mix between classical-type oil painting with digital reproduction.

What is the best thing about working with digital oils in creating a painting?

The colors are tremendously vibrant. I feel like painting with oils is like listening to acapella music and painting with digital oils is like adding synthesizers and digital sounds on top of the vocals. I paint and make decisions faster and feel freer because my speed and my pallet are not limited.

Also, I have a three year old and when I was using oil I felt like I could not use them for a long time as I thought they were too dangerous around him. Digital makes it really easy to be a mom and a painter.

It seems like you prefer the final product of a Coral Painter reproduction over an Oil reproduction. Can you tell me a little about that?

There are so many advantages of painting the way I do. First, the final print is far more accurate and vibrant with a digital painting than it is with an oil reproduction. Whereas an oil print is a high quality photographed then printed reproduction of the painting, a Coral Painter reproduction maintains the original quality in the final print. What is more, when oil is hypermixed it becomes darker and almost “muddy” but when digital colors are mixed their vibrancy and light increases.

Tell me about your style.

I am a classical/contemporary artist. As with classical art I like to stick to the rules, like a high degree of realism, and like to make my subject matter look similar to how it might look in real life. I also like to paint women, which is also a classical theme throughout the years. The way I go about painting however is more contemporary because of my medium and color choice.

What do you believe is a key element in a good composition?

A story; which means a good focal point, balance and harmony, good color, and subject matter that is worth stopping to give it your time to look at it. I believe the viewer’s attention is precious. I want the painting to inspire thoughtfulness or just help someone’s mind touch something beautiful.

What is your creative process like?

It starts with me thinking up the story I want to tell. I then take pictures of that subject matter and then use those pictures as references to springboard into creating what is in my head. The majority of the creative process, however, evolves while I paint.

Is there a common theme in the stories you tell?

Something I continue to visit is the idea that life is so beautiful. I look for what is beautiful in something or someone and while I paint I really try to bring it out.

How does creating art make you feel?

I feel empowered and happy. It puts me in a place where I am super focused and the whole world goes away. When I paint my world is filled with passion and endless possibilities.

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