Ignatius grew up surrounded by art. His parents were both avid art lovers and collectors. During his student years he met the legendary artist Gregoire Boonzaier, who became both a mentor as well as a major source of inspiration. His credits Boonzaier as the person who taught him what it would take to be a professional artist.
He finds inspiration in the work of Edward Seago, Zhaoming Wu, Jeremy Lipking and some of the American plein air painters such as Marc Hanson and Matt Smith.
He uses his own reference material which he takes with either his cellphone or camera. These he uses together with sketches and quick studies, as reference for his studio paintings. He regularly receives images from people who think he might like to use them as part of a painting.
When time and weather conditions allow for it, Ignatius occasionally paints en plein air. These paintings are usually done on small format canvas. "Most of my Canvas is supplied by a small company on the North Coast KZN called "Classic Canvas". They specially weave and stretch a canvas/linen combo that is fantastic to work on".
Ignatius likes to paint every day and is fairly disciplined. "First thing I have to have is my cup of coffee! Then I head to the studio, otherwise chances are I get distracted and little or no painting will get done. I usually spend the whole day in the studio, breaking for coffee and a bite to eat, often times working into the night. I love cooking and make my meals in advance so that I don't have to worry about wasting time preparing meals during the day".
He starts the painting process by staining the white canvas with acrylics. This is usually Cadmium Orange or Burnt Sienna. For landscapes, the main elements are roughly sketched in and then a broad monochromatic block-in-follows, using a mix of Burnt Umber and Ultramarine with rectified turpentine.
Using the three primary colours, he mixes a purple-grey (dark, mid-tone and light). The mid-tone is then split into two: one half is mixed to a cool grey and the other half into a warm grey, the hue of which depends on the light source and time of day of the scene. This forms the base of all the shadows. The white gets toned with either yellow, orange or umber (also dictated by the light source), and Liquin Painting Medium is added to speed up drying time.
The next step is to paint in the darkest (shadows) and lightest light. Doing this makes it easier to adjust the value-relationships in the painting passages that follow.
Colour is applied broadly in the beginning, looking for shapes and temperature relationships. This then gets refined and more detailed as he progresses.
Ignatius loves clouds, so the sky gets the bulk of his attention at first "This is where most of the mood of the scene is captured. Local colour from the sky will be added to the landscape as I go along, so as to have harmony and balance from the start. When the initial colour passages are done I start adding detail, always weighing up colour temperature, war against cool, adjusting as I go along. Varying my brush strokes and using a variety of brushes and painting knives make for a more interesting and appealing paint surface. I constantly pay attention to the edges of objects - these get refined in the closing stages - either blurring or sharpening them, as my focal point dictates, and then lastly I'll adjust highlights as required."
His basic palette consists of two blues (French Ultramarine and Cobalt Blue), two yellows (Cadmium and Lemon Yellow), Alizarin Crimson, Viridian, Burnt Umber, Burnt Sienna, Yellow Ochre and Titanium White. For most of his landscapes this is sufficient, however on occasion he will ad Cadmium Red, Cadmium Orange, Venetian Red, Cerulean Blue and even black, depending on the subject matter and light source.
Before going to bed, he browses through his photo collection for inspiration, looking for stimulating visual elements to combine in his next painting. "In my mind's eye I put toghether all these elements and visualise the painting as a whole - this makes it easier the next morning to get started. Having an idea of the result you're working towards, simplifies the process of getting there".
Early Morning, Knysna Estuary
Size Medium Price Code
100 x 100cm Oil on Linen Canvas R42 500 (Beautifully Framed) IM2
Moonlight, Bitou Estuary, Plett
Size Medium Price Code
90 x 90cm Oil on Linen Canvas R38 000 (Beautifully Framed) IM1