Menendez offers oil portrait painting demo

By Eugenia L. Johnson | Feb 20, 2013
Photo by: Donated photo

Multimedia artist and teacher, Mark Menendez of Andrews, NC, will demonstrate oil portrait painting techniques for Art League of the Smokies at 6:15 p.m. on Tuesday, March 5, at Swain County Center for the Arts in Bryson City.

He will demonstrate his unique method of portrait painting, from pencil drawing to pattern to finished portrait of a child.  You’ll learn many valuable techniques no matter what your medium or genre or level of expertise.  If you don’t paint or draw, you’ll be entertained and enlightened or be inspired to give it a try.  Sponsored by the Swain County Center for the Arts and Swain County Schools, anyone who is interested is invited to attend free of charge.

Using a photograph of his subject, Menendez will demonstrate how to start a portrait with a pencil drawing of the subject.  Several methods for attaining a likeness will be employed.  After the likeness is secured, the process of transferring the pattern to the panel will be explained.  When the pattern has been transferred, he will discuss his flesh color mixtures as he begins the painting.  Several stages from initial washes to final strokes will be demonstrated as the painting advances.  All those attending will receive handouts that include an outline of his procedures, methods and color theory.

At age 13 Menendez was apprenticed to Mrs. Austin Angle and began an intense study of the techniques of the masters of the Renaissance and Baroque. He was granted an academic scholarship to the University of Tampa where he advanced his skill in pencil drawing and oil painting with a focus on portrait painting.

Commissioned portraits by the artist are in many corporate and private collections, including portraits of Bishop Joseph Bethea and Mrs. Shirley Bethea for the Lake Junaluska Assembly in Maggie Valley. In September 2010, his portrait of Don Pedro Menendez de Aviles, an ancestor of the artist, was permanently installed at the Mission Nobre de Dios Museum in St. Augustine, Florida.

Menendez is also an accomplished book illustrator. In 1990, he was contracted by Millennium Publishing to illustrate the graphic novel adaptation of horror novelist Anne Rice’s New York Times #1 Best Seller, “The Mummy,” “The Wild Wild West,” “Nosferatu: the Plaque,” “Weird Tales,” and “Doc Savage.”  Recently completed commissions for book illustrations include the children’s book series “Gracie’s Garden,” “Twisty Root,” “The 1000 Years,” “Chomp, Chomp, Chomping Away,” and “Little Tiger with the Itchy Stripe,” all by author Jamie Mock. He also illustrated “Alphabet People,” a reading instructional series by author Veronica Hipps and “Perilous Paths:  The Story of Robert McClellan” by author George McClellan.

Menendez has instructed thousands of students at all levels of expertise or education for more than 30 years. He has offered countless seminars and painting demonstrations at universities, schools and art associations throughout Florida, North Carolina and Georgia.

Menendez is a member of the Blue Ridge Watermedia Society, the Blue Ridge Mountain Arts Association, The Color Pencil Society of America, and the Macon County Art Association.

If you would like more information about Art League of the Smokies or to view the exhibits at Swain County Center for the Arts, call Jenny Johnson at 828-488-7843.  Go to to view the current calendar of events.

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