Anything painted directly, on the spot, always has a strength, a power, a lively touch that is lost in the studio. Your first impression is the right one. Stick to it and refuse to budge.
- Eugene Boudin
Nothing makes me so happy as to observe nature and to paint what I see.
- Henri Rousseau


Saturday, February 4, 2006

Daniel E. Greene

Posted by Charley Parker at 7:44 am

Daniel E. GreeneDaniel E. Greene is widely recognized as one of the foremost portrait artists in the US. He has created portraits of numerous leaders in industry, government, academia, science, art, medicine and other areas, including Eleanor Roosevelt, astronaut Walter Schirra, author Ayn Rand and William Randolph Hearst. His work can be found in the collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Smithsonian Institution and the White House.

Greene works in oil for many of his portraits, but he is also a master of pastel, and many of his portraits are in that fascinating and challenging medium (images at left).

Pastel can be thought of either as a drawing medium, as in the very graphic pastels of Degas, or as a painting medium, as seen in the French pastel artists of the Rococo period. Greene works graphically at times, but his most striking work takes pastel well into the realm of painting.

Pastel is finely powdered pigment mixed with just enough gum or resin to bind it into a paste (hence the word “pastel”) and then molded into sticks. This is responsible for its brilliance, it is almost pure pigment, but also creates limitations. Because there is so little binder, at some point you run into a limit of how much pigment will adhere to the surface. To me, pastel’s limitations make work like Green’s pastel portraits even more impressive.

Greene was an instructor at the National Academy of Design and the Art Students League of New York. He is the author of two books on pastel painting: Pastel and The Art of Pastel. Both of them are unfortunately out of print, but you may have luck finding copies of the former as it was in print for over 25 years.

There are also several instructional videos available on his site for both oil and pastel technique and he gives portraiture workshops in New York State.

In addition to portraits, his site also includes a well-known series of subway paintings, galleries of still life paintings and very nice figure paintings.

There is also an excellent gallery of his portrait work on the Masters of Portrait Art site given below.


7 comments for Daniel E. Greene »

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  1. Comment by catnapping
    Tuesday, February 7, 2006 @ 12:32 pm

    i love the way he uses light. for just a second, i think it’s real…

  2. Comment by Pati @-;--
    Friday, February 10, 2006 @ 11:40 am

    Looks amazing the contrast between the perfect girl and the background.

  3. Comment by Takeyce Walter
    Wednesday, August 23, 2006 @ 3:52 pm

    I love Daniel’s work. I think he’s able to capture in his work, little nuances that a photograph could never duplicate.

  4. Comment by Casey Klahn
    Wednesday, October 25, 2006 @ 7:47 pm

    I was so stunned by this incredible portrait, that I bought an extra copy of The Pastel Journal, which featured this work on the cover, and gave it to the gallery director where I show. It makes you stand tall to be a pastellist.
    Also, I was in the Art Student’s League office in NYC for the first time, and they have an original D Greene there. Wow.

  5. Comment by José Carrilho
    Saturday, February 2, 2008 @ 3:30 pm


    When I started painting, Daniel Greene was one of the firt artists who took my attention due to the quality of his portraits.
    Unfortunately, I guess that he won’t be giving any workshops here in Lisbon :-)

    Take care,


  6. Comment by dante solari
    Wednesday, February 2, 2011 @ 5:58 pm

    mr.daniel green has earned his reputation as a master portrait artist there is no doubt, but unfortunately exist a lot other
    extremely superb portrait artists that no one even heard about them because they do
    not have the exposure the connections and
    the patronage in order to succed in the
    art world.

  7. Pingback by Self-portraits #9, some contemporary artists | Art&GO
    Thursday, December 19, 2013 @ 3:51 pm

    […] (Images above: David A. Leffel, Koo Schadler, Sadie J. Valeri, Anthony J. Ryder, Jeremy Lipking, Warren Chang, Lea Colie Wight, Daniel E. Greene) […]

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