Sergei Belikov

oil painting in the academic tradition

The territory you have just stepped on is dedicated to classical painting. Here I will briefly tell the story of my life and tell about the paths that led me to the temple of art to the altar of painting. As a child, a woman’s portrait, made with a simple pencil, fell into my hands. Through the lines on the paper, I saw a lively look, and this was beyond magic for me. I thought then that if I could ever do something similar, my life would not be lived in vain.

I started drawing pencil portraits for friends and acquaintances. Later I tried to paint portraits in oils. Portrait — the most difficult genre in painting. I tried very hard, and as a result I understood how to work with paint and achieved a good resemblance to the models.

I became interested in multilayer technique, and here I began to develop my skills in the Flemish tradition. I made several copies of the work of Cabanel and Winterhalter to prove my skill.

Why are my works unique?
I use my own painting technique, which is based on the multilayer method. This allows me to create incredibly realistic and voluminous images on canvas. A similar approach was used by such famous predecessors as Da Vinci, Titian or Rubens. Currently, many secrets of the old school are lost, and this is not taught in art schools. There are only about a dozen artists in the world today who are able to demonstrate a similar level of skill.


What is unique in multi -layer technique?
The method of creating images by sequential overlap of layers of paint allows you to get a number of advantages over the usual way, for example, ala prima. Firstly: the stability of the picture to aging increases, which is important for collectors. The guarantee for the safety of work is 300-500 years. Secondly: the optical properties of paint are used, which, when applying, create incredibly expressive and strong images, which cannot be achieved by any other artistic technique.

Separately, it is worth mentioning the effect of “sfumato”, which literally “revives” the image. These unique and specific qualities that are not in modern painting, and make my works unique. A number of secrets allow me to achieve incredible similarity to the model.

Multilayer technique allows me to get images of a very high quality museum level. This is true. But there are difficulties. This method requires a lot of time. For the manufacture of a portrait can take from several months to a year. Also, quality materials are needed for work. These two factors significantly increase the cost of painting. The average price for a portrait of this level is fifty thousand euros. 

The second difficulty is that a very high qualification specialist is required to assess painting of this level. I have come across the fact that even art critics with a standard education are not able to assess the true value of paintings in a multi-layer technique. To do this, they should receive additional special education. Here I recall a good parable about the ring, the text of which I will give below.

The meaning of the parable is that an attempt to sell an expensive ring on the market for one gold coin failed, because out of a hundred merchants no one was able to determine the true value, and believed that the ring was not worth it. After evaluating the jeweler, it turned out that the cost of the ring exceeded a thousand gold coins. What conclusion can be drawn from this? A hundred people in the market can easily make a mistake, you can only trust a person who understands the topic.

The same is true with painting. Only a trained specialist can evaluate a multi-layered painting; simply calling an art critic is not enough for this. Paintings made in multilayer technique rarely appear at auctions and cost a lot of money. For example, Leonardo’s painting «The Savior of the World» was sold at auction for four hundred and fifty million dollars.