About the Artist

Ed Salazar formally began his art education at the age of 18 in St. Petersburg, Florida at St. Petersburg College. After moving to New York in 1984 he became a successful illustrator of Biblical and historical subjects producing some 300 paintings in over 20 years. His illustrations have appeared in many books, calendars, and journals, some of which enjoy an international circulation in several languages.

Salazar also developed his skills as a portrait artist painting in the classical tradition. He has taken painting workshops with renowned living artists such as Nelson Shanks at the New York Academy of Art and with Everett Raymond Kinstler and Max Ginsburg at The Art Students League of New York. He has also absorbed the lessons from painting demonstrations by John Howard Sanden, Richard Schmid, Daniel Greene, Carl Samson as well as from studying and making copies of his favorite masters from the past, namely, John Singer Sargent, Jules Bastien-Lepage, and Diego Velazquez.

He is a member of the Connecticut Society of Portrait Artists, has served on the Leadership Team of the New York Society of Portrait Artists (both affiliated with the American Society of Portrait Artists) and as a member of the American Society of Classical Realism. Salazar also regularly lectures on different periods of art history at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Among his portrait subjects are celebrities such as actress and singer Vanessa Williams, NBA star Rick Fox, NASCAR great Mark Martin, and jazz legends Gato Barbieri and Lionel Hampton. His portraits have been exhibited in prestigious galleries such as New York’s Salmagundi Club and hang in public and private collections in the Americas, Europe, and Asia.

Salazar presently resides in Fort Worth, Texas where he also enjoys painting equestrian portraits, still life, and landscapes. He believes that regardless of the subject one paints, the key elements of successful painting consist in good composition, correct drawing, accurate values, naturalistic color, variety of edges and textures, as well as dexterity in brushwork. As a result of consistently meeting this criteria, his painting style has been described as “very natural,” “lifelike,” “dignified,” “powerful,” “classic.”

The Artist's Statement

It is true that in this modern age one can have a photographic portrait taken. Although this can be an art in itself, in as few as 10 years a photo can begin to fade. However, as seen in many museums, a good quality hand crafted oil portrait can last hundreds of years and can retain its color as if it was just painted yesterday. Creating a likeness and capturing the personality along with the proper mood is one of the greatest challenges an artist can face. Yet, when skillfully captured, a fine portrait becomes a treasure and a tribute to the sitter. Ed Salazar’s portraits have proven to successfully accomplish such a task.

Since oil paintings last so long and have been passed on as an heirloom for centuries from one generation to another, it is said that a sitter becomes “immortalized” in a portrait. Why not commission your own or one for someone you love?

Portrait Procedure

How to Commission: After your initial inquiry, I will first meet and discuss your ideas and preferences of size, composition and style. A rough sketch will be done during the meeting to plan the composition of the elements and the crop of the portrait. It is helpful to see where it will hang in order to get a better idea of colors, style and arrangement. A target date will then be agreed upon. A 50% deposit is required before beginning the portrait and final payment is due upon completion.

Photographic reference: After the initial planning meeting a photo session will be scheduled. During the photo session, which may last approximately 1-2 hours, between 20-100 digital photos will be taken, depending on the complexity of the portrait. Afterwards, the best options will be selected on a laptop computer or an iPad. Elements can be combined from separate photographs and unwanted elements can easily be omitted. A comprehensive sketch reflecting all of the elements of the composition will then be made, either on Photoshop or hand painted and delivered for approval. Once approved the final painting will begin.

Color sketch from life: (OPTIONAL: For human subjects only) If the portrait subject has the time and is willing, a painting session from life can be scheduled on another day, which would last about 3 hours, with breaks every 20 minutes. The color study will then be referred to on the final portrait, primarily to ensure better color quality.

Verification: When the portrait is completed, a digital proof of the final painting will be sent via e-mail. Only if you are completely satisfied with this image will the portrait be delivered. Upon final approval the final payment will be made.

Turnaround: Turnaround time depends on the portraits that are currently being working on, but I usually have a waiting list of about 2 months. Rushed portraits may be accepted under special circumstances, however, an additional fee may be required.