Having committed himself to rigorous and extensive formal training, Leonid Shponko is a classic painter with over 11 years of academia behind him. Leonid attained a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Samokisha Art College in Simferopol (1960 -1965). He was then privileged to study drawing and painting under Professor Mikhail Bogdanov
In VGIK (Russian Institute of Cinematography – S.A. Gerasimov) from 1965-1971.
After graduating, Leonid worked as Head Production Designer on over 30 movies and theatre productions. In 1974 Leonid was named ‘Best Production Designer ‘during the Riga Movie Festival.
Since the early 1980’s Leonid has devoted his time to his painting. Leonid’s work is wide and varied, ranging from his set and costume designs, Trompe L’oeil , still life ,
landscape and portraiture ,to his very strong and distinctive more contemporary pieces-but he can by no means be categorised within any sub area of the art of painting .
Leonid developed his style from elements of Impressionism and Surrealism. All of his pieces display a striking and complex use of colour and feature very strong imagery.
At times his pieces tend toward the sentimental ,( Together , Don’t Me Letters Anymore)
Yet this pieces only serve to further the depth , originality and vitality in his work.
A member of the international Art Foundation and Art of People of the World Association , Leonid has completed many commissions among them several famous portraits of Soviet Cosmonauts Yuri Gagarin and Victor Patsaev , for ‘ Korolev Rocket and Space Corporation Energia . The Gagarin Portrait is displayed at Konstantin E. Tsiolkovsky State Museum of History of Cosmonautics in Kaluga city . Leonid’s
Work is held in the N. Kornilov Collection of Modern Art , The Vimpel Collection( Moscow) and other private collections in the USA , UK , Malta , Russia and New Zealand.
Leonid works well within all painting media , such as tempera , acrylics , watercolour , fresco , pastels and gouache but prefers the traditional medium of oils on canvas