Eric Velasquez describes his artistic style and media

Award-winning author and illustrator Eric Velasquez describes his artistic style and favorite kinds of media to use as an illustrator, as well as some of the influences on his work. You can see the full interview with Eric in our Meet the Author section.


So I paint primarily in oil. I guess what you would say is my preferred medium. But I also work in pastel. I work in watercolor, charcoal, forest pencil, but I love oil paint. I was introduced to oil painting when I went to the High School of Art and Design. My teachers, Max Ginsburg and Irwin Greenberg, who ran something called the early morning painting class. They met every morning around 7:00 a.m. and painted till 8:30 a.m. right before the start of the school day. There I learned how to paint. And through them, I understood what dedication was and how to be an artist. You could say I learned from them. And then later when I studied with Harvey Dinnerstein, all those men were very influential in the way I developed as a painter.

You're constantly learning, you're constantly evolving. There's a lesson to be learned everywhere. There's no reason to be sitting somewhere, let's say, bored. If you have a sketchbook, you can be sketching and improving as an artist recording the moment. And if you don't have your sketchbook, you can be studying, let's say the lighting, understanding why the shadows are falling a certain way. So with them, I understood and learned this tradition of being a lifelong learner and to constantly challenge yourself. So with Mr. Greenberg, when you're feeling that the oil paint is getting a little easy, so switch to watercolor, and then when you're kind of getting more proficient with that, then okay, explore charcoal now. So go on only black and white so that when you come back to color, now you see it with a different perspective. So with them, I learned a lot about not just the technique, but how to be an artist, how to be a lifelong learner.