Faces of the Great Masters
Techniques from the Golden Age of Art

By Tom Griffith

ISBN: 978-1-955656-22-1


This book on the Golden Age of Art explores the methods and materials used by the great masters from both the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. It focuses on the most difficult subject on earth to paint, the human face. These pages are the accumulation of knowledge gained through observation and countless visits to art museums and hundreds of books on the subject in a quest to find the secrets of successfully painting the human face in the style of the great masters. Without the benefit of any formal education in art, I have spent my last forty years on a mission to answer the question “How did they do that?” What is represented here is what I wish I could have read before I picked up my first brush.

88 page hardcover


Being a loner as a young man, I would have thought that all that free time would have produced mountains of creativity and that creativity would have lent itself to painting better pictures. Not true. In fact, what it did was provide me the opportunity to look for other creative outlets on which to spend that time. The time spent trying various artistic mediums such as watercolors and acrylics really pushed me toward the end result of oil painting. Gravitating to oils was something I never thought I could achieve. At first it appeared that the knowledge necessary to paint a realistic human face was too daunting to absorb and master.

I learned that in oil painting, one never “masters” anything. Rather, we just get a little better as we complete one more painting.