Don Coen (b. 1934)

View Artist Biography
Don Coen - Resor's Ponies border=
Resor's Ponies
5 x 5 ft
“I gesso the canvas seven times and sand the surface lightly between each coat. I then start laying in the color, starting at the top and working down. I do not use any white or black, and for this reason, my paintings sometimes look like the sun is shining on the surface. All the layers of the different colors that are underneath show thru the surface, and that is what gives a richness to the colors. My paintings are an average of sixty layers of paint with almost no layers in the white areas. If the area is pure white, it is only the gesso showing.

For instance if I were doing a black angus cow, it would be layers and layers of burnt umber, violet, ultra marine blue, and Prussian blue mixed over the darkest areas to create a deep, rich black. If you just painted a black cow black, it would be very flat and unattractive and not have any of the richness that I achieve by layering the colors.

Also, I do not use any stencils in my airbrush paintings, as I like the soft personal line. Taped edges are very sterile and also appear uninteresting me. I also like to use a lot of pencil line work as a texture element. When I was a watercolor painter, I used a lot of pencil texture in my watercolors. I like the added dimension that the pencil gives, and the fact that you see the pencil lines when you get close but that they tend to go away as you move back from the canvas.

I would describe my paintings as being very much like movie screens. As you move back, the colors and shapes snap into focus and the color intensifies. I was very influenced by my experiences as a child going to the movies and noticing the soft focus of the backgrounds and how the image was often cut off, forcing one to look at a certain area.”
-Don Coen
View Artist Biography