Tennis As Art

As you might have guessed from the previous post, I love tennis. Love to watch it. Love to play it.

Before I became a bit more serious about my art and the type of subjects I wanted to paint, I let my passion for the game of tennis, along with my admiration for the great American illustrators of the 20th century, influence my subject matter and my style.

Earlier in my artistic endevors, those two passions fused together and drove me to create the painting you see here:

"Pete Sampras, After J.C. Leyendecker", oil on board

The subject of this fun illustration is tennis great Pete Sampras. The style I was trying to emulate in the piece was that of my favorite American illustrator of the twentieth century, J.C. Leyendecker.

For more about J.C. Leyendecker and his work click here.

Tennis anyone?



  1. Do you think J.C. Leyendecker painted on an unprimed, natural canvas that made those bold white outlining strokes jump out even more?

    What about your painting here? Did you cover your board with a biege tinted gesso or underpainting?

    Thanks - Brian

    1. Not sure if he used totally unprimed canvas or not. I tend to doubt it mainly because his mixture of paint and medium was so slick (in consistency I mean) that unprimed canvas would be tough to execute his technique on. He may have toned it with a neutral value before the painting stage.

      My painting is on a hard art "board" that was manufactured with a neutral primer on it already, so I painted right over top of that. The areas you see of dark peeking through, that's raw, factory-primed board.

  2. Thanks for your response Joe. Do you mind sharing the brand of the hard art board with neutral primer that you use?

    Great work (both blog and art) by the way!

    1. Brian,
      I have to, and WILL, try to find that out for you. That is one of the few pieces I used that board on, and it was over 8 years ago. The piece is framed so I can't really see the back of it. I want to say it's "Fredricks" brand. I can't remember if I bought it on-line at Gerries Art-a-rama or locally at a Pat Catans.

      In the future I plan to start going to www.raymarart.com for supports.

      THANKS for the nice comments.
      Have a great rest of the Summer!