“When Williams paints human faces and bodies in tempera – whether his own, or that of another sitter – he makes the viewer intensely aware of surface detail. One sees, more insistently perhaps than one does in life, the little marks of wear and tear, the furrows and wrinkles…
Williams’ still lifes and portraits – like much art – underline the passing of time and mortality. This was the reason no doubt why his fine portrait of the Queen caused controversy. Inevitably, his method, his close vision, revealed that that these were in fact the face and hands of an ageing woman. That is not how everybody chooses to think of the monarch. But as a work of art, and an exercise in sober, careful truth – telling like the best of his work – it was indeed, very impressive.”
– Martin Gayford, art critic and writer
Williams works almost exclusively in egg tempera – a painstaking, exacting medium in which egg is used instead of linseed oil as the binding medium. While oil allows for a degree of flexibility and manipulation of the painted surface before it dries, many days after initial application, this technique does not easily allow for alteration. All his work is based on intense observation, particularly of human flesh, creating as a result a heightened sense of realism.
He trained at Farnham College of Art and Portsmouth University and is a member of the New English Art Club, the Royal Society of Portrait Painters and the Pastel Society.
‘Making Introductions’ is a series of five films produced in partnership with our artists and focuses on the techniques that stand at the core of their respective studio processes. All of these short classes can be followed at home and will be released throughout the Christmas holidays. In one fifteen-minute video we hope you will learn a little about one of our artists and a lot about their process.
Every masterpiece starts with a sketch, every journey with a step. It is often forgotten that art is as much a language as speaking. “Making Introductions” is about learning these different ways of communicating and being able to take part in the conversation.