Eric Westbrook is an illustrator, painter, and instructor living and working in Washington, DC. He exhibits in solo and group shows in and around Washington, including Marymount University's Barry Gallery, Dumbarton Concert Gallery, Glenview Mansion Arts Center, and the Charles Sumner School Gallery. He teaches acrylic painting at the Yellow Barn Studio in Glen Echo, MD, and is the director of Dumbarton Concert Gallery in Georgetown. This alternative gallery space is affiliated with a celebrated concert series, and showcases both established and emerging visual artists in conjunction with the concerts.
Eric was a guest-lecturer at several venues, including Marymount University, Duke Ellington School for the Arts, Yellow Barn Studio, and the Art League of Germantown. He recently served as juror for two large exhibitions—an all-media figure show at the Washington School of Photography and the annual show of the Potomac Valley Watercolor Association.
Eric received a Bachelor's degree in graphic communication from the University of Maryland, and launched his freelance illustration career five years later after working as a designer and in-house illustrator, first for a design firm and then for an advertising agency. For the past sixteen years, as principal of Westbrook Illustration Inc., Eric produced commissioned paintings for clients including The Washington Post, NASDAQ, Apple Computer, Harcourt Publishers, Georgetown University, and National Public Radio, among numerous other professional associations, corporate entities, and publications nationwide. An illustration for Concordia Publishing was awarded inclusion in the 43rd annual exhibition of the Society of Illustrators in New York City's museum of American Illustration. He was recently chosen in a juried competition to be Liquitex Acrylic Paint Company's artist-of-the-month for December 2004. His illustrations are regularly included in juried shows of the Illustrators Club of Washington.
The paintings always start with pencil or charcoal sketches, where the focus is on composition and the flow of the image across the picture plane. Manipulating the movement of the viewer's eye to emphasize the essential elements of the image is a primary goal. The sketch is then transferred in stages to the canvas, and the acrylic paint is applied with a variety of both bristle and soft sable brushes. Starting with a warm neutral ground color, the image is developed by layering the paints in an additive technique, generally progressing from dark to light, with highlights causing the figures or objects to emerge. His paintings are known for strong light and shadow, as well as for rich color and strong draftsmanship. The illustrative work is conceptual and often surreal, while the fine art paintings recently focused on a more realistic depiction of out-of-the-way corners of the urban landscape.