Painting David Bowie


I knew I would paint David Bowie, the moment I saw that he had died. Any of the images (and several others that were shared throughout the day) could have been the one that I chose.  However, my gut kept coming back to one as him as a person, a fiercely creative soul with incredible depth, mystery and sense of self.  David Bowie the musician, Ziggy Stardust and various other characters will come later.

Heather could tell that I was in the vibrating state when I got home from work, itching to get out into the studio.  She's seen me like that before, maybe a handful of times, including the night I painted Robin Williams.  God bless her, she just lets me go with it.  I quickly warmed up some leftovers, ate, then dashed out to begin drawing.


I began putting paint to canvas about 6 pm and was joined shortly after by my partner in painting, Taylor Donald.  He work on his special project will I added light shades of yellow, green, blue, violet and beige.  Next same the mid-tones followed by the dark features.


Slowly, methodically, Mr. Bowie began to emerge from the canvas.

At some point in the process, I got a cryptic message from Grant, an artist friend of mine from Grande Prairie, of three words:  research the eyes.

It was at that point that I zapped over to this page to learn about the interesting eye condition that Bowie had and really defined his look.


I made some slight adjustments to the sizes of his pupils and the colouring in the left eye and finished up the painting around 9 pm.


There have been a number of paintings that have spread like wildfire on social media, Robin Williams and Kurt Cobain among them, but nothing compared to the reaction after posting this portrait of David Bowie last night.

I'm grateful for all the lovely comments that poured in and the many offers to purchase this one-of-a-kind painting done on the day after Mr. Bowie died.  However, a friend had called dibs on this one before I had even started.

I was shaking when I came in the house when it was done.  That happens when I go into that magical state of creation.  It is blissful place to be.






My thanks to Taylor for hanging out with me and providing encouragement.  He was gracious enough to snap a few pictures of me working on the piece and applying the finishing signature and date.

Rest in peace Mr. Bowie.  It is clear that you were deeply loved and appreciated by millions.


David Bowie, 24" x 36", acrylic on canvas by Russell Thomas
Painted on January 11, 2016

Popular Posts