Friday, December 9, 2016

And now for something completely different

It has been over a week since I last posted but I have been busy working on this next piece. The composition was tricky and drawing it on my gessoed board was time intensive.

Rather than going into detail about what it will be, I'll let it unfold for you. I will tell you the painting is large, 33" X 44". The dimensions may seem unconventional but adding even an inch changed the whole feel of the piece.


Further Along

Tuesday, November 29, 2016


Cheek to Cheek
Original Oil
22" X 48"

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Almost Done

Detail of leopard painting

Earlier I painted the foreground grasses and even earlier on the piece I did the background. The last step is to marry the two with some grasses in between the foreground and background. To the left of the left leopard you can see I've started to add a mid-section of grasses.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Second Cat

There is no fast way to paint fur like this. However, I do have a brush which I think is the perfect choice. I don't want to paint every hair. Not only would it drive me crazy, but it doesn't look like fur. Fur is small clumps of individual hairs.
My go-to brush is a small flat angle sable brush. It forms a tight chiseled surface when loaded with paint. For each clump I start with the point and drag the brush across the board in the direction of the fur. Here, the lighter fur will overlap the spots. Of course there will be areas where I want single hairs to overlap but the majority of the fur is painted with this one brush.
Click on the image to see more detail.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

First cat

For her, I started with the tail first. Next I mixed the colors for her shadowed fur against him and finished all the shadowed areas before moving to the sunlit parts.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

More spots

My darks can dry overnight while my "whites" and lighter colors can take up to a week depending on the ambient humidity. So even though I have all the spots in, most of them will be repainted as I blend them into the surrounding fur.
You might well ask, "Why bother to paint them twice?" Having the spots painted with warm and cool blacks (some more brown) gives me a frame of reference for the sunlit and shadow areas, helps me to see the cats' muscle structure, and gives me an overall feeling for the painting.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016


With the leopards' spots now dry after the turpentine wash, I can start on them. My black base is ultramarine blue, cadmium red, and burnt umber. For areas that will be in sunshine, I am giving the spots a warmer tone.