Ted NuttallTed Nuttall: “Painting figures from photos”

  Ted Nuttall began his career as a graphic designer in Phoenix. His artist-mother encouraged him to become a full time painter at age 40, “Thus, giving birth to me twice!” he quipped.

In 2001 he took a workshop from Charles Reid whom he emulated for many years while developing his own personal style. Nuttall 3Nuttall’s paintings may look “loose” because of his signature “sloppy dots,” but his process is very slow and deliberate.

He uses 16 transparent colors and 300 pound Arches hot press paper. His demonstration from a photo of his granddaughter began with a transparent wash in three colors: vermillion, quinacridone gold, and peacock blue.

Then he began to define the eyes, nose, and mouth. “Each little section is an abstract painting,” he explained as he painted the features. Nuttall typically builds up his colors with transparent layers.

Nuttall 1Asked if he paints every day he replied, “I tell myself I will paint for two hours. That seems do-able. Then I find myself still painting six hours later.”

HNuttall 2ow do you know when to stop? “A painting is never finished, “ Nuttall replied. “It just stops in interesting places.”