Monday, June 26, 2017

Sporting Dog Commission

     At a show this February one of the attendees saw my painting Chukar Hunt and found that I do custom sporting dog commissions (in addition to other commissions.) It so happens that he has two German Shorthairs. In early March after the Natureworks show in Tulsa Oklahoma, I had the chance to swing by his house on my drive home and take my own reference photos in anticipation of a painting. Five hundred photos later, and time watching the dogs' movements in the field, I had what I needed.
     Once I finished other painting commitments into early June, I created a mock-up idea and 3 other examples to present to the client to see if I was on the right track. I was, and after some minor modifications, it was time to start.

     For this piece I am using a Jack Richeson Umber toned hardboard gesso panel. I found they make a 24" X 36" which was cut to 14" X 31" for this painting. After drawing on the panel, I decided to use a classical approach and do a tonal wash using turpentine and raw sienna. (For years I used this approach on a white gessoed board but this is my first time on a toned gesso board.)


Saturday, June 24, 2017

New Painting

When I return from a reference gathering trip, my thoughts are often fixated on the wildlife I saw. Before I start on an upcoming commission, this piece begged to be painted.

Dancing with Waves
Original Oil
6" X 6"

Friday, June 16, 2017

A nice treat

My trip to the barrier beaches of Martha's Vineyard these past three weeks did not disappoint.
Once again I saw Black skimmers, piping plovers, willets, black-bellied plovers, ruddy turnstones, American oystercatchers, nesting black-backed gulls with fluffy babies, common terns, least terns, roseate terns, sanderlings, and osprey. Baby seals were also on the beach - so cute!

But this year I had a special treat. I was there at the perfect time to see mating horseshoe crabs. In a remote stretch of beach it was fascinating to watch this species older than dinosaurs. The females, about 1/3 larger than the males, would move toward the shallow water and attract numerous males. Some females had at least five males in attendance and she would bury herself in the sand beneath the water. Often the only way I would know she was there was her tail protruding above the sand.

As I child I remember seeing numerous horseshoe crabs during the summer but for decades since there have been so few. It was gratifying to see dozens in 60 yards of beach.
Here is one of my photos.