Portrait Artist Ralph Cowan is known for his works of art.
We go up and smooth every single brush stroke out.
And you manipulate the paint further and further and further now.
Artists make work with a variety of materials, from pencils to plasters to acrylics. Cowan prefers oil paints.
There are so many different kinds of paintings that people want nowadays because of the internet and all that. People have found different kinds of art that appeal to them.
Fine artists typically display their works in museums and galleries or sell to private buyers.
When you're sitting on an airplane with somebody and they ask you well, what do you do, you're a portrait painter. They said well, who have you painted and now I say well, everybody. So they'll say Elvis, I said yes and they said the Pope, yes.
Some colleges and universities offer programs leading to a bachelor's or master's degree in fine arts. But Cowan says getting plenty of practice is your ticket to success.
So, I stop going to school after like a year or so and went up to the Metropolitan Museum. Peter Paul Rubens who was the greatest painter that ever lived, he knew more about it and I would go up to one of his paintings and copy and so I could go up and look right through the paint and see that, oh there was tan painted on here before he started painting.
If you want to land a gig in this competitive field, make sure you've got an impressive portfolio. Many clients will want to see your previous work before they decide whether to hire you.
How many hours do you generally at work?
Right. I work every afternoon from about 1:30 to quarter to 5 and I'm working on several exciting things at one time and I work up as many as three or four paintings at the same time. And when I come back out in the evening I work from 7 to 9, to 10, 11 depends on what I'm doing.
More than 60 percent artists are self employed. Many who aren't lend their talent to newspapers or advertising firms.
What kind of reimbursement can a painter expects to make? Is there any expectation that they could actually realistically have?
Oh, I'll tell you how it worked with me. I was getting 26 dollar. At first a dollar then 26 dollars then you know, I remember 36 and I remember every time I went up, I have a set of way and a way now, that I have three price lists and one of them is called the majesty price list and that is way up there, 100,000 bucks of painting.
Cowan's advice to future aspiring artist, it's never too late to learn.
And humility I found out is the ability to become teachable and remain teachable. And that's when I ask the people why don't you teach me how to paint you. Arrogantly sometime painting somebody and, like I knew what I was doing and I didn't ask enough questions and I would make a few mistakes so now I ask them why don't you teach me how to paint your portrait. And I ask this, what's your favorite color and so on, and she said yellow and I didn't want to do a yellow portrait.
Lucky for me, I'm getting to help.
She's gonna paint you. She's gonna hold it just the way I'm holding it right now.
Prepare to start off at the bottom and work your way up as a fine artist. With enough practice, your works may one day be as valuable as the Monalisa. Guinness World Records assesses its insurance value at 100 million dollars. Well, I still have a lot more to learn here but I will let you guys go. See you later.
Oh, you're doing great, you're doing great.
Light as a feather, right?
Light as a feather.
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