By NATALEIGH MCCALLUM
From a young age he was always able to draw. Growing up in England, his family never had much so he did pencil sketches to pass the time. But who knew he would come so far. Michael Brown, a 53-year-old Kitchener resident, has taken his lifelong skills of pencil sketching and turned it into so much more.
The radio-controlled airplane fanatic was in the midst of building a Hellcat when he decided he wanted to design his own art on the side.
“I wanted to put my own detail into the planes, some pinup girls on the front,” Brown said.
Not knowing how to airbrush, he decided to go online and watch YouTube tutorials on how to do it. A newfound hobby and passion was born.
“I never took any art classes,” Brown said.
Now, the self-taught artist has done everything from airbrushing roller derby helmets to portraits of people.
“When I started doing paintings, it was faces. But painting trees, grass and skies was something I never did,” he said.
Not completely sure how his airbrush technique on landscapes looked, his wife Cindy took it upon herself to help him out.
“I went on Kijiji and looked up classes and I found a Michael Roth class,” she said.
But, when Brown showed up at the class, he was surprised to learn that instead of airbrushing, it was oil painting – which he had never done before. The artist had to learn quickly, but managed to catch on. Now Brown, who creates all his work from home, has begun to sell his art.
From custom pieces that are requested, to landscape oil paintings, he does it all. Recently, his work was displayed and put up for sale in the Elmira Home Hardware.
Brown takes all his own photos and uses them as reference for his work.
“I have a camera and I taught myself how to use it,” he said. “I don’t paint pictures with the thought that I am going to sell them to somebody else, I take pictures and paint them because I like the way it looks and I am looking forward to it. It inspires me and gets me excited. Sometimes when you’re doing commission paintings, you’re not excited. Yes, you’re getting paid to do it but it’s just not challenging.”
Brown’s work sells for $300 and up, depending on such things as canvas size and the project itself. But, they are a sight to see.
Take a peek by going to Brown’s art Facebook page at www.facebook.com/pages/Michael-R-Brown-Artist/409566779154129.