J.C. Leyendecker is my favorite commercial illustrator of all time. John Singer Sargent is my favorite fine art oil painter ever. Both of them belong to history now, even though their work lives on as a testament to their greatness.
Of the many living masters of the present day whose work I love to look at is the acclaimed portrait artist Everett Raymond Kinstler.
Kinstler is the John Singer Sargent of today's world. He started out in illustration, but for the past 40 years or so, has been painting outstanding portraits of everyone from American Presidents, to film icons, to authors, to corporate CEOs.
The National Portrait Gallery in Washington has a good many of his portraits, some of which I shot while there, and wanted to show you.
Most of his paintings are more "sketchy" than John Singer Sargent's which I don't mind at all. I'm in awe of both artists.
To me this is further proof of a lesson I learned a few years ago - value is more important than color, Kinstler, like Sargent and every other great painter, nails the values of each nuance of every plane of the subject. This face could be painted in all blues and still look fantastic because the values are so perfect.