Marc Trujillo

Marc Trujillo on

Marc Trujillo paints suburban landscapes. He chooses  vast, sprawling environments in which figures are dwarfed by their surroundings.

Marc and I talk candidly about process – he goes into detail about materials and how (and why) he chooses things like:  canvas size, how he sets up his palette, how to combine photography with life drawing, and what the best brands of paints are based on his extensive testing.

Marc got his masters at Yale, he shares his experiences there and answers my question – was it worth it? Then we talk about his mentor, Andrew Forge and what Marc learned about making personal statements with your art, being ‘arty’ and… by the way, what does being ‘arty’ even mean?

Show Highlights:

[10:02] Choosing the size of a painting
[14:16] Learning canvas size from the masters
[15:52] How Marc sets up a painting
[16:13] The best of both worlds: How to blend photography and life drawing
[17:44] Influence of 17th century Dutch and Spanish Painting
[19:54] Four Ways to guide attention from Velazquez’s Las Meninas
[21:41] How Marc chooses his subjects
[22:05] Avoiding ‘Narrative Poison’
[24:17] Why mid-grade comfort food is such a pleasure to paint
[29:12] Art School Confidential – Is grad school worth it?
[36:05] Understanding materials – Marc’s pigment tests and what paint brands are worth shelling out the dough.
[48:42] Are you too ‘Arty’? What does that even mean?
[58:41] Back to those paint charts- what are the good mid level paints?
[1:00:55] Developing a good relationship with your work
[1:03:14] Setting your compass and accepting criticism
[1:09:00] A crazy story (or two) about seriously over competitive art students
[1:11:06] Social Skills – How just saying thank you got Marc an important gallery introduction.

Color Charts

Marc Trujillo's White Paint Chart

Cobalt Blue Chart

Other Artists Mentioned:


Las Meninas by Velazquez

View of Delft by Vermeer

Jacques-Louis David, The Coronation of Napoleon
Marc talks about this image to make a point about the relation of the size of a painting to the viewer. In reality, the painting is enormous: 6.21 m × 9.79 m (20 ft 4 in × 32 ft 1 in)

The Coronation of Napoleon by Jacques-Louis David

Portrait of Marc Trujillo by Sean Cheetham

Portrait of Marc Trujillo painted by Sean Cheetham

See Marc’s Work:
@trujillomarcart on instagram
Marc on the Huffington Post

5711 Sepulveda Boulevard 1st drawing

Second Drawing


5711 Sepulveda Boulevard 30x62 2010


14114 Vanowen Street 42x74 oil on polyester over aluminum 2013 Marc Trujillo3800 Barham Boulevard 44x66 2011

2627 North Hollywood Way 22x41 oil on polyester over panel 2013


6351 Sepulveda Boulevard 38X47 oil on polyester over panel 20121644 Cloverfield Boulevard 23 x 31 oil on polyester over panel 2014


1605 South LaBrea 2009

Combo #8 13.5 x 20 oil on panel

Combo #6 16x20 oil on panel

Combo #3 oil on polyester over panel 18x18

7200 Dodge Street 23x32.5 oil on aluminum 2010

6333 Commerce Road 24.75x23.5 oil on polyester over panel 2012


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