Adebanji Alade was born in Nigeria, and trained at Yaba College of Technology (a renowned art college in Nigeria). He extended his studies at Heatherly’s School of Fine Art in Chelsea in the UK. He currently lives in the UK and works from a studio in Chelsea.
I first encountered Alade’s work through his blog, which he has subtitled: “My art, my passion for sketching”, and passion for art is something that he demonstrates in abundance.
His web site has galleries of his work in several categories, portraits, drawings, illustrations, landscapes, religious themes and African influenced work. It is on his blog, however, that I find the best showcase of the two aspects of his work I find most interesting, his landscapes, particularly cityscapes, and his “Tube” sketches.
Alade fills sketchbooks with drawings of fellow passengers on London’s public transportation; page after page of direct observation and impromptu portraiture, fascinating faces and glimpses into other lives, shared momentarily in the process of getting somewhere.
He sometimes takes his Tube sketches and develops them into paintings. He has a secondary blog, subtitled “The people I sketch everyday” in which he chronicles this process. There is also a gallery on his web site devoted to the sketches.
Alade works in a variety of media, oil, acrylic, watercolor, graphite, carbon pencil and pen and ink. For his landscapes, he works from sketches and photographs in the studio as well as being a dedicated plein air painter. Both his studio work and location painting evidence the same dedication to direct observation displayed in his Tube sketches.
He often posts preliminary sketches and the paintings developed from them on his blog, and occasionally posts photos of himself painting on location. I always find it interesting to see photographs of the location for a painting, as well as the artist’s setup, not only for the arrangement of easel, palette and painting tools, but for the sense of scale and feeling for the environment in which the artist was working.
In addition to his web site and blogs, there is a brief video of Alade at work and being interviewed on the Winsor & Newton site.