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The Oil and Soft Pastel Portfolio of Kev Harris

A painting of a woman playing the standing bassDon't sweat the technique, oil on canvas

Kev Harris is an artist based in Charlotte, North Carolina. In his practice, Kev works primarily in oil and soft pastels, creating packed figurative and still-life scenes, based on contemporary life and the artist’s surroundings.

A portrait of a woman holding a lit matchPlaying with fire - I, oil on canvas

I love the texture that Kev injects into most of his works -- though oil and pastel are two media that lend themselves well to soft blending, Kev takes a dedicated approach, self-described as “tactical,” to conserving a sense of his own hand and presence in the works. Kev’s palette knife works show off this style, with the artist rendering detailed, voluminous portraits in layer upon layer of quick, confident swipes of pigment. The resulting works seem to shimmer and fluctuate. 

A screen capture of Kev Harris' art portfolio


Kev’s pastel works look more toward a smooth blending technique, often taking the form of close-up portraits. In these works, the artist expertly blends different tones to render skin, hair, and facial features in lifelike relief.

A painting of a woman in a black dressTruth, pastel

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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