Ben Jeffery

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I was born in 1986 and grew up in Barnet north London.

I always had a keen interest in art ever since my Grandad introduced me to the work of John Varley, the renowned 18th Century watercolour artist. The Varley’s are related to the Jeffery family.

I first realised I wanted to be an artist in secondary school. A few classmates and I used to have bets to see who could draw the best portrait of someone. I really enjoyed going to school and showing them to see their reaction. I painted a portrait of my dad for a mock GCSE which got admired by the entire art class.

I continued to study art to degree level. I received a lot of guidance and advice throughout the years but my technique is mostly self taught.
When studying art at college and University, we were mainly left to our own devises. We were given a subject and asked to come up with a portfolio of work and to develop an idea to a few final images. They didn’t teach us techniques which meant we had to learn on our own. I always wanted to paint with oils and come up with colourful detailed paintings, this wasn’t always well received by my tutors but my classmates were always quite impressed with what I came up with. It was then that I picked up methods and techniques to get the mark making I wanted with oil paints. It’s a case of trial and error a lot of the time, trying new ways of controlling the paint, from there my style has evolved.

A lot of the time a painting evolves as I paint it. I always have a basic composition in mind but I let brush come up with the shapes and I choose colour almost on the spot. Other times I see an image in my head and quickly sketch it out. I normally work in two stages, I first paint the entire canvas in base colours. After it has dried I paint a second layer, adding more and more detail. After I finish a painting, I leave it a day or so before look at it again, this helps me pick up on areas that need changing.

My work is fairly diverse ranging from portraits to landscapes in both pencil and oils. I love working with vivid, bright colours to create a unique and modern style. I am a huge Sci-Fi movie fan and I love special effects. There was I time after I finished University when I wanted to be a concept artist for films and video games. I tried my hand at digital painting and got some pretty good results, but paint just has a depth and feel that can’t be beaten. I still search the internet for concept artwork and get a lot of inspiration from that type of imagery.
I also get a lot of inspiration from views around me and take the odd photo. My parents have a house in the Herefordshire countryside and one on the Isle of Harris, both have stunning views which constantly give me ideas.