Adam Houston

American Impressionist Oil Painter


Here’s the second portrait of Grant. I was irritated with how the smaller one did not really look like him so I took my time on this one and made sure it captured the essence of what I was seeing.

I don’t really know why I wanted to paint Grant. I’ve read his autobiography and the Civil War series by Shelby Foote so I felt like I got to know him in a weird way. The thing that is so remarkable about Grant is that he was designed for war. He was a failure at most of the things he tried in life except designing and executing warfare.

More than anything Grant had a will to win. He had this strange confidence but it was not rooted in pride. If anything it was the opposite of pride. A sort of unflinching commitment to rolling over what was in front of him regardless of the cost.

U.S. Grant (Study)

So, as a part of my set this year I really wanted to try and start painting people. When I got in a rut last year I did some monotone paintings to make it a little bit easier and I am trying that again.

I think I just free-handed this one after drawing it a time or two in a sketchpad. It does not really look like him but I had a great time painting it. It’s a remarkable thing to capture the essence of someone with paint and if it’s just the slightest bit off you lose it.