Robert Dukes

  • Faculty


Robert Dukes (b. 1965) studied at Grimsby School of Art followed by the Slade. He paints mostly still-lifes, and transcriptions of other paintings. In addition to solo exhibitions at Browse and Darby (2005, 2008 and 2011) he features regularly in the RA Summer Show. He also lectures at The National Gallery.

On drawing

Drawing and painting are very closely combined. This might seem a surprisingly obvious statement: after all, the act of painting could hypothetically be broken down into drawing, colour and tone – yet some serious observational painters nowadays hardly draw at all. For me, regular drawing (with a pencil) is necessary for me to “get my eye in.” In order to perceive colour-shapes clearly, I need to draw first. Drawing — really drawing — is really difficult! The recent Daumier exhibition in London was a perfect manifestation of his contemporary Delacroix’ opinion that “Cold exactitude is not truth.” Line drawing is not putting a silhouette around an object (the reason those who project a photograph on their canvas and fill it in produce dead images). A good drawing, like a good painting, consists of “shape(s) made from a sense of mass, not a sense of shape.” (Frank Auerbach)

Robert Dukes