Featured artist: Paul Batch

Lakeside, 30x40, oil on Ampersand Gessobord


Paul Batch is a nationally represented contemporary painter best known for his atmospheric landscapes.


Across the Water, 11x14, oil on Ampersand Gessobord


Q: Do you have a set color palette that you work from? Or does it change with each painting?

My palette is fluid and ever-expanding, but right now, my “standard” palette is:

Michael Harding:

  • Quinacridone Gold
  • Yellow Lake Deep
  • Bright Yellow Lake
  • Titanium White No. 3
  • Yellow Ochre French
  • Transparent Oxide Yellow
  • Transparent Oxide Red
  • Cadmium Red Light
  • Alizarin Crimson
  • Cobalt Blue
  • Kings Blue Light
  • Ultramarine Blue
  • Lamp Black


  • Jaune Brilliant

Old Holland:

  • Cadmium Yellow Orange


  • Portland Warm Gray
  • Radiant Violet


  • Thalo Green - Yellow Shade


Warm Reflections, 18x24, oil on Ampersand Gessobord


Q: You work from photographs. Do you paint the picture exactly, or do you stray only using them as a reference point?

I work from photographs, studies, and little thumbnail sketches. I play around with basic shapes and often doodle designs into paintings. It’s an anomaly when the finished painting looks just like the reference. I do like to have something to work from initially or otherwise; I find myself repeating myself, if you work from life, this gets rid of that problem quite quickly.


Nick, 18x18, oil on Ampersand Gessobord


Q: Your portraits are as stunning as your landscapes. Why don’t you paint them more often?

First, thanks for that. I’ve always loved portraiture and studied with a fantastic painter who painted powerful portraits: http://artiststephenbrown.com

I was fortunate enough to gain a lot of attention through my portraits, but when I thought about it as a career, I couldn’t see myself being successful at it. For me, they are a labor of love, and I don’t really paint them for anyone but myself. Painting portraits for clients is a whole different beast, and I applaud those that can pull that off. It’s just not for me. I’m currently working on one of my daughter that I’m pretty excited about.


Rolling In, 20x24, oil on Ampersand Gessobord


Q: Do you prefer painting landscapes or seascapes?

It just depends on my mood. I don’t live on the shore. So for plein air, I enjoy the seascapes more. It feels pretty epic standing on the rocks, looking out onto the ocean, and just trying to take all that on. It’s both a humbling and heroic experience at the same time.


Just on the Rise, 6x8, oil on Ampersand Gessobord


Q: An intense sun and light with dark scenery is prevalent in your work. Tell us a little about this.

Aside from me being a stereotypical moody artist, I’m a huge fan of Rembrandt. Rembrandt’s use of darks and lights and how he built up his paintings carries through in my work. I think it’s incredibly poetic to have light emanating from the darkness. I’ve tried brightening my palette over the years because my early work was almost too gloomy. I want my work to offer hope to the viewer, and I like to think I’m getting closer to that now.


Shining Through the Pines, 11x14, oil on Ampersand Gessobord


Q: Do you think your work would differ if you did not live in New England?

For sure. Paint what you know. I open the door, and I’m surrounded by big pine trees. That’s my jam. I travel a lot around New England to try and catch all it offers, but yes, if I lived out west, I’d imagine my paintings would look quite different.


Afternoon, Wellfleet, 16x20, oil on Ampersand Gessobord


Q: Your work has an organic feel. Tell us a bit about your painting process.

I slap my paintings around with my patented floppy paper towel technique. I use long-haired brushes like Egberts and long flats, beat-up house brushes, and other stuff. I was taught portrait painting using bifocals and teeny brushes, but when I applied the same technique to landscape well, things were initially just too stiff. I spent years trying to loosen up… and I’m still trying to loosen up.


Winter Embers, 6x6, oil on Ampersand Gessobord


Q: How did you discover Ampersand Gessobord, and what do you love most about it for your work?

My portraits were painted on wood panels that I would prepare myself. When I switched to landscapes, canvas seemed more appropriate for size and weight. I wasn’t using great materials because I was poor and trying to figure things out. Eventually, I got quite loose on the canvas, but when it came time for details, the surface I was working on wasn’t responding the way I wanted. I picked up some Gessobord at the art store to try it out, and it worked well for me. The slick surface allowed me to move the paint around freely in the initial stages, and after painting up the surface a bit, the hard surface lent itself to creating the finer details I was going for.


Artist Bio:

Paul Batch is a Signature member of Oil Painters of America (OPA) as well as an award-winning member of the Portrait Society of America. His work has appeared in numerous publications, including Artist’s Magazine, Plein Air Magazine, American Art Collector, and most recently in Fine Art Connoisseur’s “Three to Watch” (January/February 2021).

Paul received both his B.F.A. and M.F.A. from the Hartford Art School at the University of Hartford (Connecticut). In addition to being a full-time artist, Paul has been teaching art for over ten years and is looking forward to sharing his tips and techniques with you. To see more of Paul's work, visit his website, Instagram, and Facebook.


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Comment by Paul Baresic |

I painted in casein for many years and am trying water soluble paints from Cobra now. I love the Ampersand products. I painted on heavy weight illustration board in school and still enjoy the "solid" feel of the Ampersand panels. I enjoy what I perceive playing with the paint, especially the landscapes, that Paul Batch seems to employ.

Comment by Patricia Henige |

I was never fond of landscape art. To me it all seemed pretty or nice but nothing that I really felt part of. The landscape of Paul Batch was, sort of, an epiphany for me. The work, when I view it, encourages me to stay with it for a while, be part of it, go back to it, experience it.

Reply by Ampersand

Isn't it great how different art and artists can speak to you? How wonderful that Paul's work made you look at landscapes in a new way!

Comment by Jean Watson |

I was fortunate enough to take classes with Paul and he introduced me to ampersand gessoed panels. I pretty much use these panels All the time especially for my small daily paintings.

Comment by Anne |

Love your work! Thank you for bringing so much beauty here.

Comment by Debbie |

Beautiful work. I have seen you paint and it blows my mind how talented you are. But to go into a gallery is my mission.

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