Eddy Greenwood

Congratulations to Eddy Greenwood, winner of the Anthology Cover Art Competition 2022

by Edel Cassidy
Words Edel Cassidy

Eddy Greenwood, a figurative artist living in the picturesque town of Wassenaar on the western coast of the Netherlands, practises the ‘sight-size’ technique of painting and drawing, a method of creating representational art with great accuracy.

Originally from Aldridge in the English West Midlands and a graduate of Canterbury College of Art, he worked as an art director for advertising in London. He later moved to the Netherlands where he established himself as a highly respected creative director, and in 2012 received a TED award for best storytelling in film. 

Striving to explore his creative talent further, he turned his focus to figurative art and portrait painting, inspired by the work of the old masters Titian, van Dyck and Velázquez. He travelled to Florence and studied at the Florence Academy of Art and Charles H. Cecil Studios, which follows the atelier tradition. This practice stems from Renaissance Italy, when a master painter opened his studio to a select group of dedicated students. These schools are renowned for their commitment to the theory and practice of the sight-size method – the artist sets up to create a drawing, painting or sculpture at a vantage point from where the subject is exactly the size they plan to depict it. The great American portrait painter John Singer Sargent’s use of this method contributed significantly to its popularity. 

Painting by Eddy Greenwood of a girl dressed as the Mad Hatter, painting a scene from Alice in Wonderland
Escape from Reality. Alone in her bedroom, the girl is painting her own interpretation of the world of Alice in Wonderland. From this safe space, she can fall down the rabbit hole, just like Alice, and enter Wonderland, a place where she can play with the boundaries of reality and develop from a shy and insecure little girl to a confident and brave heroine. The painting explores how fairytales help children understand the world around them, the fight between good and evil, and how they let children experience things in their own minds before facing them in the real world.

Eddy now paints exclusively from life, harnessing his studio’s beautiful north-facing light. However, it is not only how he paints that makes him special as an artist. From his years of experience in art direction, he also has an eye for composition,
lighting and finding that special pose that makes a great portrait. Throughout all his work, he strikes a fine balance between likeness to his subject and a beautifully rendered painting.

He has now achieved international recognition and his work can be seen in award shows in Venice, London and Amsterdam. In 2022 two of his paintings were selected as finalists in the 16th ARC International Art Salon.

Alongside his projects and portrait commissions, Eddy Greenwood is dedicated to sharing his knowledge and offers classes in figurative art.   

Painting of a boy and a girl painting together on a table surrounded by toys
Lessons in Lockdown. A portrait of two Dutch children, a brother and older sister, entranced by the experience of painting fighting figures from video war games. The painting explores how two siblings create their own world within the real-world fight against a pandemic. On another level, it addresses the conflict between generations and the complex transition from old to new. This is part of a perennial tension between authority and control on the one hand and freedom and independence on the other. These dynamics were brought into sharp focus by the restrictions imposed during lockdown.
Portrait by Eddy Greenwood of a young girl with her hair tied up
Ditha. The portrait began with an artist’s wish list of stylish dresses, gorgeous background drapery and flowing hair. Eddy describes working on the preparation with the model: ‘As we talked about the project, my eyes only went to the beautiful structure of her face, strong angular lines contrasting with the softness of her features. So we tied her hair in a knot, left her in the shirt she arrived in, and hung a black cloth in the background. Then I let the light do its work. This was all I wanted to paint; nothing else mattered.’
Portrait of a young girl styled in multi-cultural dress and accessories by Eddy Greenwood
Charis. The winning image of the Anthology Art Award 2022. As an artist, Eddy is fascinated by the influence of ethnic elements in fashion – the combination of prints, accessories and the explosion of colour, characteristic of unique cultural expressions. Charis is young but doesn’t follow the latest trends. She creates her own look, a fusion of styles that brings values such as inclusion, diversity and the reassessment of multi-culturalism to fashion.
  • ‘Eddy Greenwood: Winner of the Anthology Cover Art Competition 2022’ is published in Anthology Volume 19. Read more features from this volume or buy it now.
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