Artist Dan Menta creates stunning black and white images of celebrities and others through the technique he calls “The Art of Removal.” See more amazing portraits by going to his website.
I’m 52 and I’ve been drawing from the age of five. I began adding different techniques and mediums as I got older until I finally found my true technique and passion—painting with acrylic paint using an airbrush and traditional brushes.
I am working on becoming a recognized and successful artist, making my living solely from creating and selling my artwork. I paint on various surfaces—guitars, albums, aluminum and clayboard using my personal custom technique of painting.
I paint a complete painting with one color—black. I might add a splash of color for a visual pop; highlighting my subject’s eyes or an article of clothing. I map out the foundation of my painting by layering the black in graduating shades. I then erase and scratch out the paint to add texture and to expose the white of my surface to create highlights.
As the painting starts to progress and come to life, I add and remove paint softly bringing out its tonal values. I continue erasing and scratching, going back and forth, adding and subtracting black paint for more texture and highlights until I am satisfied with the finished painting. I call my unique technique, “The Art of Removal.”
Lately I’ve been using my black and white with a splash of color technique to portray famous singers and bands, sometimes directly on their record albums.
First, I protect the albums label with a mask, then I spray the black album with a white primer to create a base for the transferred penciled image which I paint from.
I start by mapping out the image using my painting technique and try to incorporate part of the painting over a section of the album’s label.
When the album is complete, I spray a final clear coat over the finished album to protect it. I place the album cover, along with the painted album, in a glass and wood shadow box frame.
I get enormous pleasure and satisfaction when I start with a blank white surface, and slowly bring to life a painting of a recognizable image from our past or present, and then watch my customer’s face when they see their completed painting. This gives me the inspiration to paint my next painting project or commission.
Artist Dan Menta invites you to follow him on Facebook.