Arlene Berger Portrait Artist


An extensive background in film and photography has given me keen powers of observation and the ability to compose through the camera’s lens.


I love strong bright light especially in portraiture. Light captures form and creates a dramatic composition. Selecting just the right composition enables me to choose the most appropriate canvas format. I start with a light pencil sketch of the general outline of the composition.


And take a breath… I spend a lot of time pre-mixing my colors directly onto the palette. I like to start mixing the darkest shades, the light tones and than a middle tone of another value. Blending as many values as I can right from the beginning ensures that my foundation layer becomes rich in depth and color thus my ‘realistic’ style quickly begins to appear.


I like to think that I paint ‘from the inside out’ intensely focused on each section of the canvas.

Once the canvas is completely covered in the first layer, I start again – adding more values of light and dark. I begin again and again until the lights can no longer be lighter and the darks can no longer get darker. The painting becomes harmonized by incorporating the background tones into the foreground subject. The light can be so bright the lines blur between the two.


When that happens, the painting becomes ‘alive’ to me and I know its time to put down my brushes.  Want to book a consultation?  Contact me here.