Featured Artist – Ethan Diehl

We recently interviewed artist Ethan Diehl after meeting him at the 2019 Portrait Society of America show in Atlanta, Georgia. Ethan has an astounding talent for photo-realistic oil paintings. In fact, his paintings are so realistic that he even has a disclaimer at the top of his website that says, “Yes, these are paintings.” See for yourself!

SBL:  When did you start painting and what inspired you to pick up a paintbrush?
Ethan: I started painting almost before I could walk. Granted, it wasn’t in oil (closer to Gerber’s baby food), but it was the starting point.  My mother babysat a bunch of kids, and she converted our basement into an art room.  A half dozen young artists, mastering our watercolor craft.  I didn’t start painting in acrylics until junior high, and oils didn’t come on the scene until college. I don’t know why I picked up a paintbrush. I’ve always liked the visual world. The stars at night.  Storms on the horizon.  Movies.  Paintings. All of it.  Being able to capture images that lived in my head, and in front of me, always seemed special to me.   Like my superhero power.

“Train of Thought”

SBL: Do you have any formal training or instruction?
Ethan: I went to Stanford to study rocket science. Literally.  However, after a year of not enjoying my classes, I started to take studio art classes.  One of them, a drawing class, was taught by Nathan Olivera.  Nate was an incredible person.  We hit it off in his class, I completely changed the direction of my studies, and he became my art mentor.  More than simply learning the technical side of making art, Nate taught me how to pay much closer attention to what was right in front of me in the visual world.

SBL: Before you became a full-time artist, what did you do?
Ethan: The concept of full-time artist makes me chuckle. I knew very early on that it would be nearly impossible to make a living by just selling art.  So, I got a job, which I still have, as a software developer. I’ve been doing that for 21 years. However, this doesn’t mean that I don’t put in a fulltime amount of work each week in the studio.  I do.  I’ve been doing 40+ hour “work” weeks + 40+ hour “art work” weeks for almost 15 years.


SBL: What is your favorite subject to paint and why?
Ethan: People are my favorite subject.  Primarily women.  This isn’t exactly an original concept in the art world.  Haha.  I like spending my time focusing on the beauty that only women bring to the world. Within the subject of women, I only paint women I know.  It’s important for me to have a personal connection to my subjects, because it takes SO long for me to complete my paintings.  I really don’t want to spend months on end staring at a strange face in my studio.

SBL: How long have you been using Silver Brushes and why do you like using them?
Ethan: I have been using Silver Brushes, and only Silver Brushes, since 2004.  That was the year that I started my professional art career.  I only use 1 particular brush: the Silver Bristlon® Flat size 0. My paintings are made of tens of thousands of squares of oil paint.  Each square is 1/6 in by 1/6 inch.  The Flat 0 is the perfect width for that size square.  The way that the bristles are constructed works well for me, too.  I like the flex of the bristles as I’m working on the squares.  Once I found this one brush, I was hooked.

“Constellation” painting process

SBL: Can you explain your painting process further?
Ethan: I use a pencil and ruler to turn my canvas into the equivalent of a super-sized piece of graph paper.  Then, I spend months looking back and forth between my computer monitor (which has a pixelated image), and the canvas, and painting tiny squares.  My Silver Brushes are never the same afterwards.  I normally use 1 single brush per painting, and then the brush is “retired”.  This process is not recommended for anyone else.  It works for me, but it’s painful.

SBL: Have any artists influenced or inspired your work?
Ethan: Chuck Close specifically influenced the way that I paint, from a technical aspect. I’m inspired by living artists like Jenny Saville, Mark Tansey and Banksy.

SBL: Is your artwork on display anywhere?
Ethan: My art is shown at three galleries:
 Julie Zener Gallery in Mill Valley, CA
 Robert Lange Studios in Charleston, SC
•  Morton Fine Art in Washington, D.C.

SBL: What advice do you have for aspiring artists?
Ethan: Work hard. Be nice. Enjoy the process. Fight envy with all of your strength.

For more information about Ethan and his artwork, please visit these links:


May 2018 Featured Artist of the Month

James Tennison, Whidbey Island, WA.
While scrolling through Instagram    one day, we stumbled upon James Tennison’s oil and watercolor artwork. His account is filled with breathtakingly beautiful landscapes, still-lifes and portraits, each of which evoke a sense of awe. James’ eye for the way light and shadow interact and the colors they create is astounding, no matter the subject or media.

James’ work is inspired by a myriad of artists such as Singer Sargent, Joaquin Sorrolla, Johannes Vermeer, Winslow Homer, Andrew Wyeth, Frank Benson, Alfred Munnings, and Abbott Thayer. “Just to name a few,” he jokes.

Every artist has a story about how they became interested in painting and James is no exception. “Like many children,” he says, “I always liked to draw and was fortunate to have parents that encouraged this passion. We would visit museums on occasion and we also had a few original oil paintings around our house. I can remember being fascinated by these painting and wondering how the artists made them. I remember getting my first oil paint set when I was around 10 years old and can still recall the pleasure I had in painting my first still-life.”

James has come along way from that first painting. He has participated in numerous competitions and showcases with plenty of awards for both his oil and watercolor paintings. His artwork hangs in prestigious corporate, private and public collections throughout the United States and he has been published in Fine Art Connoisseur Magazine, Southwest Art Magazine, and International Artist Magazine, just to name a few.

According to James, he does not have a favorite piece that he has created. “I always hope that my current painting will be my best and favorite…I have several portrait commissions I am working on at the moment, as well as paintings of local subjects. I like to have several paintings going on at the same time.”

For the past 20 years, James has been using Silver Brush natural hog bristle Grand Prix® filbert brushes and stiff white synthetic Bristlon® filbert brushes. “I was first introduced to Silver brushes at a Portrait Society of America conference about 20 years ago. I have been using them ever since.”

When asked if he has any advice for aspiring artists, James said, “Get the best art education you can find. Learn the fundamentals of drawing, design, composition and color. Study nature and great art of the past and present. Work hard. Follow your heart and enjoy the privilege and pleasure of creating art.”

To see more of James’ work, please visit:






Product Highlight of the Month

Introducing The Art Sherpa® brush set collection  

There are a number of videos online that demonstrate the use of each of these brushes/tools. Please see links below.

*Ask for The Art Sherpa® sets and open stock brushes at your local art supply reseller  


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Watch Cinnamon demonstrate the brushes and tools in her videos:https://silverbrushblog.com/videos/

Watch the The Art Sherpa® demonstrate use of the Cloud brushes AS-4107:        https://youtu.be/I4zsXexe86M



February 2017 Artist of the Month

Deb Watson is a self taught artist and loves to
paint and teach. In her words: I learn as much from teaching as my students, digging into different subjects and experimenting with watercolor techniques and colors.

As a child, I loved to draw, but was discouraged by my family from pursuing art. So I spent my adult life as a nurse – working long hours and raising a family. I painted whenever I could and slowly improved. When I began painting full time, I was surprised that my work was accepted in national juried exhibitions and won awards! For years, I entered tons of shows, winning many awards. My paintings were also featured in many national magazines and earned signature membership in some of the top national art groups. After experiencing kidney cancer, I’m not entering as many shows, just focusing on my painting. (And I’m healthy so far, thank goodness.) Now I’m giving others the support I wished I had, with on line watercolor lessons.Deb continues to teach regularly in my studio and at the York Art Association. I occasionally teach workshops, although I’m a homebody and limit my travel. I also have several how to paint watercolor books available.

In Deb’s own words: “I love your brushes – the quality and the cost. I just finished teaching my Monday watercolor class (10 students) and I let students try the new brushes so they can see how nice they are. I encourage them to buy and use them. Tomorrow I have another 21 students and I’ll be taking my new brushes for them, also. The combination of holding a lot of water (and color), keeping a killer point for better control, and being reasonably priced just can’t be beat. Keep up the good work, and thank you again”

Deb’s favorite brush? Black Velvet® in all shapes and sizes

Visit Deb’s website: http://www.debwatsonart.com

To see more of Deb Watson’s work:


November 2016 Featured Artist of the Month

Leslie Adams painting Lynne LoftisLeslie Adams, a Signature Status member of the Portrait Society of
America, is an internationally recognized artist who specializes in figurative art and portraiture. Her patrons include distinguished
members of private society as well as the corporate, academic, religious, cultural, and civic leaders of our day. Her works grace the
walls of institutions and museums throughout the world.

Leslie was awarded the William F. Draper Grand Prize by The Portrait Society of America 

Leslie Adam’s recommendation:

As a professional artist specializing in figurative art and portraiture, whose patrons include
many distinguished members of private society as well as the corporate, academic, religious,
cultural, civic and judicial leaders of our day; it is my responsibility to provide my clients with
works of the highest quality. Therefore, the quality of the materials I use to create each painting
is critical to the process of painting itself, inherent to the success of the image, and key to the
longevity of each of my client’s investments.
For these reasons, my choice for brushes is imperative and unwavering. Since I began painting
professionally, I have found the superb quality of the Renaissance Series by Silver Brush toLeslie Adams be
unsurpassed. Each brush is meticulously crafted with the highest
quality materials available. Whether applying broad glazes or focusing
on precise details, each brush in the Renaissance line, with its unique
characteristics, allow me to produce my desired results. Consequently, the Rounds and the Brights in the series are never far from reach and
are as essential to me as the popular, long handled Cat’s Tongue
brushes that I love.
I have used the Renaissance Series by Silver Brush the past two
decades of my career and I highly recommend them to all of my colleagues.
-Leslie Adams
See paintings by Leslie Adams in our gallery site:
See three videos featuring Leslie in our video library on this site
Watch Leslie describe how she uses her Silver Brushes:                                                             

Product Highlight

Silver Jumbo Chisel Fitch


Item# 8035 in 1″, 1-1/2″, 2″
Superior quality white hog bristle with tapered edge:
•Exceptional late-scale blender that has a double-thick head of
•Is securely set into nickel plated brass ferrule• The ferrule is secured
with both glue/epoxy and finishing nails all around base of ferrule
•Perfectly balanced natural colored handles
The Silver Chisel Blender makes a beautiful mark because of the
chisel tip. A perfect stumbling background brush in any media. This brush can do wash
techniques that allow the artist to exert pressure on strokes with perfect bounce-back and
performance. Silver’s Chisel Fitch brushes can be used on any surface including canvas, wood,
walls, interior and exterior. On long handle. Available at resellers nationwide.

Painting by Gayle Levée “Sweet Water”

Product Highlight


Grand Prix®, just one of the most fabulous brush series from Silver robert-liberace
Brush.Master brush makers use 100% naturally curved Chunking white
bristle.This carefully chosen bristle has deeply flagged and interlocked tips for
maximum color carrying capacity. Long lasting without a hint of wear, pick one up
and see for yourself what professionals are using.Now available in Extra Long & Long Filbertdaniel-e-greenes

  • Finest pure Chunking white Bristle
  • Interlocking white bristle
  • Naturally deep flagged tips
  • Pure copper ferrules & triple epoxy
  • Sharp chisel edges for clean brush
  • Extra long bristle to reach tight spaces
  • Perfectly balanced handles and shaped to fit the hand
  • Bristles and handles are both sealed in the ferrule to protect the quality
  • Made by the finest brush makers in the world
  • In 7 shapes including the long and Xtra long filbert
  • For painters who demand the best

grand-prix-brushes-smallerSee more images and paintings of the Grand Prix® series. Go to our
gallery album:http://www.silverbrush.com/gallery/index.php/Grand-Prix


Michael Shane Neal’s palette, paintings by
Robert Liberace, Daniel E. Greene,na, Self
 by Nelson Shanks

Featured Artist of the Month

pagliaccio ponte-vecchio-florence

Robert Liberace strives to combine his
fascination with anatomy, art history and technique to produce work in a variety of
disciplines including drawing, watercolor, painting and sculpture. He has been
selected as a “Living Master” by the Art
Renewal Center and is a member of the American-China Oil Painting Artist’s League. In 2003 he received the Portrait Society of America’s Grand Prize Award. Rob teaches weekly classes at The Arl-1122-rliberace-figure-settomitillas-for-galleryrt League of Virginia and holds art and art
history workshops throughout the United States and abroad.  Please visit
robertliberace.com for more information
about upcoming events and his instructional dvds which cover various oil
painting and pencil drawing techniques. Rob received his BFA and MFA at George Washington University. He is represented  by the  John Pence
Gallery in San Francisco, the robert-liberace-2Legacy Gallery in Scottsdale, and the Principle Galleries in Alexandria, Virginia and Charleston,
South Carolina.
“Why these brushes?” “With their exceptional performance and
beautiful finish it is plain to see that Silver Brush has as much
regard for artistry and craftsmanship as the most demanding

r-liberace-front-coverSee more of Rob’s artwork on the Silver Brush Gallery:
and Robs website:




Watermelon and Cantaloupe by Joe Anna Arnett, using Bristlon® & Ruby Satin® brushes



                                                                                                                   Featured at discount prices:
Black Velvet®, Golden Natural®, New Atelier Quill, Hake and Mottler
brushes, Silver Kolinsky®, Renaissance® pure red sable brushes and many more at affordable prices.

painting by Steve Mitchell
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Product Highlight

Ultra Mini® Miniature Brushes with Comfort Grip® handles
Precision Jewels-Ultra Mini® painting tools. Detail brushes made with the Artist in mind. Short
Comfort Grip® handles and compact ultra fine heads are perfect for tight spaces. Superb
control in all media. For decorative and fine art, nail art, models, live action figures, dolls and
doll houses, airbrush detailing and miniature painting. Precise ums-2429s-29-pc-ultra-mini-set-sm
golden taklon filaments set into nickel ferrule on Comfort Grip®
handles. in 29 shapes and sizes including Pointed
Round, Fan, Script Liner, Spotter, Monogram Liner, Xtra Long

Liner, Designer Round, Filbert, Angle, Lettering, Shader, Grass Comb, Tear Drop

Painting by sheherazadePeggy Harris

Action Figure by Anthony Rapitis