LIGHT ON: Lou Patrou
Born in Rochester New York in the mid 1950’s, Lou Patrou grew up within a typical large blue collar American family household. Lou has been drawing and painting faces, figures and forms since he was a teenager. Lou is a self-taught artist that has been steadily creating an impressive body of work with a portfolio that spans nearly four decades. He was a US Navy filmmaker for 4 years in an elite motion picture unit called Combat Camera Group. Lou then moved out west and spent the next two decades in Hollywood where he continued massing his body of fine art when he wasn’t working on film projects.
Red Rave, 2015. Acrylic on watercolor paper, 40×60″. Courtesy of Lou Patrou
“Most of my work falls into three different types or styles: loose and scratchy pastels, patterns made up of repeating color schemes and shapes in painted mixed media, and expressive black and white pencil drawings on paper.
Lucy, 2014. Acrylic on watercolor paper, 40×60″. Courtesy of Lou Patrou
The pastels are done without any planning at all, just on feelings. I start working the paper to see what develops, a face or expression of a face starts taking shape, and I just follow it till the image finishes itself. They end up with lots of vibrant color, lots of textures and free flowing compositions.
The pattern works have all been paintings, watercolors, acrylics and a combination of both. They are meticulously planned out with multiple sketches, color studies and shape layouts and generally take a long time to fill in and puzzle together.
Sylvie, 2010. Graphite on paper, 38×50″. Courtesy of Lou Patrou
The black & white graphite drawings are generally portraits and require a lot of preparation and preproduction in getting the final lines down on paper the way I want them. The drawings are getting progressively larger over time and can be of something seemingly very simple to something filled in with complex backgrounds and designs.
Hank, 2010. Graphite on paper, 38×50″. Courtesy of Lou Patrou
The influences on my work over the years has been from all of my visual jobs, from photography and lighting, cinematography for television and motion pictures, product design, neon design and fabrication, movie set and prop design and from objects & images in real life such as architecture and media.”
Image 1: Ricky, 2014. Acrylic on watercolor paper, 40×60″. Courtesy of Lou Patrou