Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Artistic License

First a quick note on the smaller bull. I saw him the same day as the background caribou on the right and left. First thing in the morning, he and a cow swam across Lake Kamistastin, Labrador and up the bank to walk right in front of us just after we left camp. Little did we know that hours later we'd run into dozens barrelling past us in a spruce forest.

Now for a note on artistic license. One isn't much of an artist if one just copies a photo exactly. A common use of artistic license is to make the males look bigger, especially the antlers in the deer family. I have seen some magnificent paintings, only to be distracted by an impossible rack.

I'm going to come clean on this big bull. I actually saw him! Three of us were on the far shore from camp. We had just finished our pack lunches and spotted a group of caribou on the ridge above us. Up we climb and there is a wonderful bull. Hiding behind a rock, the only sound is the rapid fire of our camera shutters and the occasional, "oh, this is so great!"

Just then, out steps a monster bull. The bull we had been so excited watching paled in comparison. This big bull was a magnificent creature. We only snagged a few reference photos before he disappeared back over the ridge and we never saw him again.

There was only one problem. Could we ever paint him? Would anyone believe he actually existed or would they assume we had gone wild with artistic license? That was October of 2008 and I have waited for just the right occasion to paint him. This Conservation Artist of the Year painting seemed the perfect opportunity.

Photo by Linda Besse, copyright 2008

Photo by Linda Besse, copyright 2008


sschopfer said...

It's so good to know you're using your license responsibly. ;-)

Linda Besse said...

Thanks for the smile Selena!

marc calvo said...

This is the similar stile of paintings that i make,a pictures of a big format,but shorter 100 centimetersx130 centimeters or more,i try to spent to make one,less than one month if its possible,in one ocasion i arribe to spent 28 days.

Linda Besse said...

Yes Marc, it probably seems like I am taking forever on this piece. You certainly work quickly on your large pieces. Though this painting is 32% larger than your typical dimensions, it is 48% larger than my larger pieces and 640% larger than the average size of my paintings. The logistics of working on a piece this large and all the stepping back and taking it all in add time for me. But, I am almost done and my patient blog followers will get to watch a painting in progress which is much smaller.