Adebanji is a professional artist working in Chelsea, London. He trained at the Yaba College of Technology (a renowned Nigerian Art College) and Heatherley’s School of Fine Art in Chelsea. He has exhibited at a variety of galleries, including the Mall Galleries in London and has won many awards including the John Walton Figurative Prize, the Heatherley Award for the Student with the most Outstanding Paintings in 2005 and the Winsor & Newton “Under 35” category at the Royal Institute of Oil Painters exhibition in 2007.
W&N: Describe your work & style
AA: From as far back as I can remember I have had a fascination with images and colours. I picked up a pencil when I was six years old and I haven’t stopped since. I love people, I work with people; they form the basis of my art, so most of what I do is figurative and portrait based. I am addicted to sketching on public transport! In all my work I try to convey a feeling of life, movement and energy.
W&N: What techniques do you apply?
AA: Most of the time I work from sketches and sometimes photographs. The reason why I work from sketches is because I don’t like the works to be stiff, I like them to be flowing and I borrow from previous sketches if I don’t like what is in the photograph.
You can view Adebanji's gallery here.
W&N: What do you look for in an acrylic?
AA: It’s that buttery consistency – I want the colour to flow and sit on the canvas. When I pick the colour up on my brush I want to make sure it sticks to the brush and canvas in a way that I can move it easily.
W&N: What artists do you find inspiring?
AA: In the past, I always admired Rembrandt, Velasquez and John Singer Sargeant
Currently, I really like the work of Andrew Festing RP and Lucian Freud. I mainly like figurative artists.
W&N: What are your first impressions of Artists’ Acrylic?
AA: The colours are bright which is great for my portraits as I want the skin of the figures to have a glow that eminates from them, reflecting the artificial light of the place they are in.
I must say, it also felt like an oil – it has the qualities of an oil. It might be because I tend not to use water to mix the colours (as I like to apply directly to the canvas) but I liked the buttery feel and flow – and the way the colours can sit on top of each other and still retain their texture.
W&N: What else have you noticed with Artists’ Acrylic?
AA: The no colour shift. So far, every colour I have laid down on the canvas stays the same and remains exactly how I want it to be.