James O’Connell graduated from University Arts London in 2015. Self-taught, with no formal training in painting and draughtsmanship, he developed his style by studying historical techniques.
Fascinated by luminosity, his paintings are built through multiple layers, beginning with a black and white underpainting to establish depth. Colour is then applied on top in translucent, glass-like layers.
Employing illusions, perspective and symbolism, James’ intention is to create an object which does more than represent reality. “I want to go beyond what the eye or camera can provide. When creating a portrait for example, I want to find ways to capture the unique essence of the sitter. Candid and honest – to describe the detail of their character with every brushstroke.”