Todd Montanaro grew up in Rhode Island and started drawing at a young age. He received early recognition by winning numerous awards for his artwork.
He received training at The Art Institute of Chicago, The School of Museum of Fine Arts - Boston, Massachusetts College of Art, and through multiple workshops with nationally renowned artists.
Todd starting painting with oils in 1998 and he now works almost exclusively in this medium. He started exhibiting and selling his work in 2002. His work has encompassed many subjects, but has been focused recently on still lifes and landscapes.
Whether painting a still life set up in his studio, or painting a landscape en plein air (on location outdoors), Todd paints directly from life. His paintings are executed alla prima in the field and with a traditional indirect technique in the studio.
The traditional indirect technique starts with a grisaille (a monochromatic underpainting). Once this is dry, it is painted over in many thin layers of transparent and opaque color. Each layer is left to dry before another layer can be added. Dutch and Italian Renaissance painters favored this technique as it results in richer colors and effects that cannot be achieved with other, more direct, painting techniques.
Alla prima is a style of painting where, instead of building colors up with layers over an underpainting, the painting is completed while the paint is still wet.
Todd currently maintains studios both in Boston and on Cape Cod.