Mainly figurative painter and designer, born in Irvine, Ayrshire, who graduated with first-class honours in design, 1989–93, then his master’s in art and design, 1994–5, both at Gray’s School of Art, Aberdeen, where he settled. Shankland was interested in “how the figure uses space and can create tension with the surrounding environment through its reaction with colour, line, shape and objects.” He admired “the draughtsmanship of Waterhouse, Cowie and Degas; the composition of Conroy and Degas; the handling of paint in Degas, Guthrie and Lavery (the impasto) and Conroy (chiaroscuro); the translucent flesh of Ingres; and the still coolness of pearlized light in Vermeer’s interiors.” After graduating he worked in Aberdeen as an advertising agency graphic designer, having done similar work in Edinburgh.

Text source: 'Artists in Britain Since 1945' by David Buckman (Art Dictionaries Ltd, part of Sansom & Company)

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