JoEllen Reinhardt


A portrait begins with the perfect pose or arrangement. Therefore, in the beginning, Reinhardt finds it important to spend time with her client to discuss their ideas and expectations. The artist is happy to work either from life or from a photograph. Working from life may take several sessions and she appreciates that not everyone has the time or ability to sit still. When working from a photo, Reinhardt prefers to take her own, if possible. Then she will sit with the client and together settle on a pose.
The artist begins each portrait with a charcoal sketch which she transfers to a toned linen canvas. Using a pigment such as raw umber, she develops an under-painting. This is a vital stage for establishing correct values and composition. The next layer involves big shapes of color, void of details, which will be added in the final stages. Over the course of several days the form continues to develop as more layers of paint are added until she is satisfied. The duration may vary depending upon the complexity of the piece. The painting is left to cure. Finally, a coat of varnish is added unifying and bringing out the luster of the paint.

Classically trained modern realist and co-founder of the New England School of Fine Art, Jo Ellen Reinhardt’s work has been shown in many prestigious museums, galleries, and exhibitions throughout the North East. Although best known for still life and portrait painting, she also enjoys creating other genres such as plein air landscape and figurative works.

Jo Ellen received her classical training at the New School of Classical Art. She is a signature member of the renowned Pennsylvania Watercolor Society, Academic Artists Association, Connecticut Society of Portrait Artists and the Copley Society of Art. Moved by her passion for realistic art, she recently co-founded the New England School of Fine Art, located in historic Worcester, Massachusetts. The school is dedicated to preserving and promoting traditional methods of drawing and painting.

In addition to running classes and creating new works at NESFA, she also enjoys passing her knowledge onto the next generation via her position as Adjunct Instructor at Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

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