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Modern Subjects with Classical Style: Art by Greg MacNair

A distinguished looking oil painting of an older womanUntitled, oil

Featured artist Greg MacNair is a painter with a great aptitude for realism. Many of Greg’s works echo the style of renaissance masters, portraying modern subjects with classical style.


A graphite portrait of a young boyUntitled, pencil

Greg has previously worked in commercial illustration, where he did a lot of work with pencil and coloured pencil. In his current personal practice, Greg tends to prefer oil paints on canvas as a medium. He skillfully blends his oils to create portraits and still-life works that have a slightly soft edge, but that seem to convey every detail of the subject, from the texture of their clothing and hair, to the way that light hits the angles of each face.


A screen capture of the oil portraits gallery on Greg MacNair's websiteGreg's online portfolio of oil portraits


Our previous feature of Greg’s classical and contemporary portraiture focused on the artist’s drawings of people and pets. I like seeing the differences and similarities in Greg’s pencil portraits and oil portraits. He seems to attain the same slight softness with both mediums, though the pencil sketches tend to have a more casual air. Greg also creates gorgeous landscapes which can be seen on his website at


A painting of a birch tree viewed at an upward angleUntitled

About the author

Dallas Jeffs Art Writer

Dallas Jeffs is the Editor of Artist Run Website's blog. They hold a degree in Critical and Cultural Practices from Emily Carr University of Art and Design, as well as a certificate in Technical Writing from BCIT. Dallas has a passion for speaking and writing about art, and sharing that interest with others. In their studio practice they are an illustrator and budding tattoo artist, but they consider themselves a writer foremost. If you like art, books and culture with a science fiction twist, check out Dallas' personal blog, HappySpaceNoises or their art on Instagram.

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