David Debono is an artist who specialises in portraying the human figure. Raised in Nadur, Gozo, in a family known for its artistic skills, he cannot remember a time when he was not experimenting with drawing and sculpting clay.
During The Trail David can be found at Portomaso Business Tower, working on his portrait paintings. This is a fantastic opportunity to see David painting from life, to ask about his process and learn more about the art of portraiture.
David begins by sketching live models or working from memory, trying new compositional arrangements in his sketchbook. Many will end up on a high quality linen canvas, paper or wood panel and his favourite media are oils, charcoal or graphite. He works using various techniques, both ‘alla prima’ (a process whereby colour is applied directly to the canvas) and indirectly, where paint is applied layer after layer until the desired colour is achieved.
“David’s compelling charcoal studies of people and faces are masterfully strong and expressive, and in each of his works you can see his careful training and feel the weight of art history. In many, with striking sepia tones, it is almost as if you are stepping back in time. They intrigue the viewer and invite you to uncover their narrative.” says art writer Esther Lafferty.