Artist Jesse Payne

Jesse Payne art
art by Jesse Payne

400 Series Bristol Smooth

About Jesse Payne

photo of Jesse Payne

Jesse Payne received his academic degrees from Indiana State University (BFA, 2001) and Northern Illinois University (MFA, 2003) with an emphasis in painting and drawing. In 2008 Payne completed a one-month apprenticeship with the renowned Norwegian figurative painter Odd Nerdrum and recently took a one week workshop with the New York figurative artist Steven Assael.

Jesse has received recognition for his work through exhibition awards and publications. Most recently his drawings based off of Leonardo da Vinci's Grotesque Heads were published in American Artist: Drawing edition, (Summer 2009) in an article entitled "Fleshing Out Leonardo's Grotesque Heads" by Bob Bahr.

Interview with the Artist

How did you interpret using the Strathmore Thistle for the pad cover artwork? Anything else you'd like to share about your piece?
I wanted to come up with a way to use the thistle that was subtle. I wanted to illustrate to the viewer the maximum capability of the medium on the surface that I was using.  The 400 series (smooth) Bristol has proven to be the best surface for my graphite drawings.  I use the 4-ply surface which is strong and durable and eliminates the possibility of any subtle dents or tears that can happen in lighter weight papers during maneuvering.

How did the Strathmore paper you used for the project affect your drawing (or painting) techniques?
The 400 series (smooth) Bristol is the ideal surface for my graphite drawings because I tend to work the surface quite heavily. In the beginning layers of my drawings I do a lot of heavy cross-hatching and stumping of the graphite into the paper. After I achieve the gradations I am looking for I then begin an additive/subtractive approach by which I am erasing some highlights that were lost and adding further details in with various mark-making techniques.  I find that the 4ply Bristol can take anything, even a light sanding if needed and the graphite erases very easily.

Which artists inspire you?
I am inspired by many artists but to define some working in graphite or other drawing media today I would have to mention Steven Assael, Sofie Jodoin, Kent Bellows, and James Valerio.

What advice would you give to beginning artists?
Never give up and believe the old saying that practice makes perfect. Measuring your drawing proficiency is like watching a plant grow; you don't notice it at first but once you look back over time you notice huge changes.  Also, strive to get better than someone who you know is better than you.  Being inspired by someone else's work is important. Setting goals that are obtainable but challenging keep you interested in what you are doing.

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