Technique

The Artwork of Charles Harris


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Charles has the ability to capture the magic and the beauty of a moment as well as the imagination of the public.

Practically, he is a strictly traditional artist who works entirely in front of the subject, one canvas at a time. His high level of traditional art and craft skills is demonstrated first by the strong Renaissance structures of his three-dimensional drawing.

This is always spacious, precise sensitive and accurate.

While in accord with the Great Tradition from Leonardo, his colours are described in three tonal as well as three temperature values. You can instantly see what is there, instantly see what it means, and as it is visual – ‘It looks like what it looks like.’

To the great surprise and pleasure of his clients, he has original novel ways of dealing with most practical problems in painting, especially those dealing with sittings in portraiture, or the choice of difficult landscape locations.
Traditionally trained, he will not work from photographs, nor allow the element of time to be excluded. His pictures are painted completely in front of the subject or sitter. Unlike chocolate box photographically contrived portraits, for example, where the image is flatly two-dimensional, non-tonally coloured and where the true experience of the sitter is limited to just one fraction of a second in a camera shutter speed.
In his portraits the structure is traditionally three-dimensional, made to be human and instantly recognisable.
As a result his portraits demonstrate the individuality of the person. They reveal through time spent together, an unspoken dialogue and true genuine understanding of character, which could otherwise only be known through a close family relationship.
In one of his portraits, it was said he had captured the spirit of the person. How could any one photograph that? (see picture below).
Portrait of Lady Frances’  by Charles Harris
In his work nothing is faked, flawed or deliberately faulty.
Nor does he embellish or exaggerate, creating lies, or ugliness for cheap effect. Believing that all of Life must be precious, exquisite, or beautiful, he paints everything with the same attention and respect accordingly. Charles believes it is the task of the visual artist to show life and let people share the value of a smile or see the sunshine and experience the light.
His Landscapes also have this traditional value structure thus making a mystical feeling in the pictures that is both spiritual and unpolluted. Created atmospherically, in any one place, they always show the light. His light is so convincing, you can get an idea of the time of the day in front of you. Painted entirely out of doors, in all weathers, they are in touch with Nature. They are equally alive with clear tonal colours which allow the showing of true natural beauty. Any person can surely stand under his incredible skies. With his Scottish landscape paintings you can smell the heather, or hear the sounds, or just sit and watch that wild water rushing.
Or, you may stroll up a winter road, which has such a real sense of the temperature and that cool space outside, that you may feel the need to put on your gloves as you experience the cold.
During a World Painting Tour he also completed many delightful early morning sunrises, evening sunsets, or other unique poetic aspects or views particularly in Thailand, Portugal and Greece. Therefore, as those who have commissioned his works have discovered, his artistic skills apply everywhere.
In Scotland however, it is sad to report that many of the places he paints may soon disappear for us! We may not be able to see them all again. Consequently, many of the pictures have become historical documents. If you have a favourite place he is the one to paint it for you. He encapsulates what always brings people to visit. It is Perthshire, it looks like Perthshire and everybody knows it is Scotland; it just couldn’t be anywhere else.


Sofia Dobbs

I compiled this text entirely from the many comments made by famous people, clients, critics and fans of his work during the past ten years for which I am extremely grateful.
– Sophia Dobbs – ‘Worldwide Agent for New Traditional Art’