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This week’s featured artist is a Dublin-based painter who goes by the name of Darko.

As I browsed through Darko’s web gallery, there were two things that captivated me most about his art: first, the intense (almost physical) atmosphere in all his paintings; and second, the sparse, simple use of subject matter.

As Above by Darko

For example, that first landscape, entitled As Above, is probably his most detailed work—yet the entire scene is enveloped in a vague, swirling fog and illuminated only by a distant glow.

Check out the deliberate mirror-image placement of those two trees. As a compositional choice it runs contrary to normal landscapes, but works well for Darko’s dream-like, surreal style.

Daywalking by Darko

All of Darko’s works offer a similarly out-of-place, almost out-of-body, visual experience. He achieves it by putting his subjects in strange, nearly empty locations, lit by diffuse light. . . effectively stripping them of any true anchor to reality.

SEE MORE: Modern original paintings for sale at NUMA Gallery

Despite those seemingly empty locations, there’s really no lack of interest for the viewer (see the painting above or below for an example). You’ll notice that he uses something like a drybrush or scumbling technique, slowly layering muted colors for additional texture wherever needed.

No Name by Darko

In closing, I have to admit that this work IS a bit of a departure from what normally appeals to me—and yet each one of these paintings is just so refreshingly stark and somber that I can’t help but be drawn to them.

If you’d like to view more of Darko’s paintings, I’d encourage you to take a moment to visit his website and look through the rest of his work.

*Note: this post may contain affiliate links*

It's no secret that I like texture in a painting. There's something incredibly appealing (and satisfying) about being able to see something that you know can be touched.

That's why I absolutely love today's portraits by Paul Ruiz.

Each one of Paul's paintings contains amazingly textured, nearly sculptural, elements. They're full. . . read more

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