Pete Humphreys has always loved films and been fascinated by ways in which how the director uses the camera to frame atmosphere and intensity. Pete emulates this cinematic technique when he captures moments and composes scenes and portraits. He has long been inspired by the Impressionists and the way in which their loose brushwork blends into an image from a distance, but on a closer viewing dissolve into a mass of vigorous marks and strokes. He combines these two influences to create iconic portraiture that captures the essence of the subject as well as the precise moment that they inhabit, saying: “I search for subtlety, hidden glances and underlying motivation. I am not trying to fool the viewer into thinking that they are seeing a photograph, but rather am embracing the opportunity to interpret in paint while retaining a sense of honesty and accuracy.”
“As I am painting scenes and faces, the influence comes from the person that I am painting, the scene that they may be in and the vibe that is associated with the particular film/actor. I look for people that interest me and capture my attention. The film type will also influence how I paint – a Tarantino film will have a different style to a Marvel film. The situation that I paint will also have an influence: if the scene is action packed the painting will be more frantically made with rapid brush strokes and marks. I study faces and try to understand them, looking for nuances and feelings. The more that you study them the more you can incorporate them into your paintings. This adds authenticity and honesty to the portrait.”
Pete has enjoyed many successes over the years. He reached the BP Portrait Competition final selection round in London 2016, and won the Portrait Section of the St Helens Open Art Competition two years in a row. The latter winners’ exhibition was visited by Emma Rigby, Carley Stenson and Martin Murray who all praised their portraits; Lena Headey commented “Mad Skills!” and she and Russell Crowe both re-tweeted their portraits and promoted Pete’s work.