Pain or Relief by Michael Sheldon

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Michael Sheldon

Pain or Relief


46 x 61 cm | 18 x 24 in

Oil on aluminium panel

  • Third Place ($500 Cash Award) / Figurative

This work is available for purchase, for inquiries please write to

This piece was painted on aluminum panel using only titanium white and ivory black oil paints. I want the viewer to decide what the person is thinking or feeling. Those weathered hands, which tell a tale. Is he in pain? Is he in torment? Is he relieved? Is he at peace?

I left the Royal Marines Commandos a few years ago after completing eight years of service and two tours of Afghanistan and it has often been a struggle to adapt to civilian life which I believe greatly influences my style of painting. This painting was painted over a timeframe of about three months. I was originally going to glaze colour over the top of this grisaille, however, I felt the stripped back monochrome added to the dramatic chiaroscuro effect of the piece. I focused on the finer detail studying my own hands, as you would never really think to look at them, noting how the light catches the crevices and pores. The intricate mapping of the skin.