Friday, December 3, 2021

Moose

 Before I started on the moose, I thought the mountains in the distance needed a bit more definition. I've added a hint of fall snow and a closer hill section for more interest.

Where to begin. I decided to start with the bull's antlers then focus on the heads.





Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Background

 

For the trees, I start with their structure (trunk, large branches) then soften with loose edges and lighter greens on the sunlit side.


Blocking in the ground colors

From these base colors I'll build up the grasses and other vegetation after I've worked on the moose.



Friday, November 26, 2021

Going Bigger

After a number of smaller pieces, I decided to work on a larger painting. Its size is fitting for the subject. 

October seemed to be my month of moose. With good sightings of bull moose in rut at Turnbull Wildlife Refuge (about an hour from my house) and four visits from a cow and her calf to my property, moose have been on my mind.

The painting size (24" X 48") may be modest for some artists but it fits in to the large category for me.

 
I've drawn the moose from an angle which looks up at them, giving them a large and noble presence. 


The horizon line is kept low furthering the illusion of the size of the moose. For the wash I used yellow ochre rather than my usual raw sienna. With the purples in the painting, the more yellow (less orange) wash will work better for the piece.



Thursday, November 25, 2021

Happy Thanksgiving!

Linda's photo of a turkey in her yard

 I hope you have many people and joys for which to be thankful.

 

Friday, November 12, 2021

The Paintings Revealed

 On October 16, I showed you two of my paintings which had been disguised. 

Did you guess what they were?


Snow-ing at Blackwater     Original oil    15" X 21"
 Note: Blackwater refers to the Blackwater Wildlife Refuge in Dorchester County, Maryland 

 


Taking Wing   Original Oil  10" X 16"

Come join the fun at the 50th anniversary of the Waterfowl Festival!

I'd love to chat with you.  Find me in the Armory location.

www.waterfowlfestival.org


Saturday, November 6, 2021

Larger than Life

 Rarely do wildlife artists paint their creatures larger than life. It wouldn't be very easy for me to paint a giraffe larger than life size even though I have a cathedral ceiling in my studio. I'd be on a ladder for the head and on my knees for the hooves.

I debated on these two pieces whether to paint them larger than life size. In the end I opted to paint them slightly less than two times their actual size. These are hummingbirds I see at my house from April to September.

Summer Jewels - Male Calliope     8" X 12"     Original Oil

The flower is one which grows naturally on our property and hummingbirds seem to love its nectar. To achieve the iridescent feathers on the calliope's throat, I painted the highlighted area titanium white. Once dry, I glazed it (using Liquin) with very thin layers of Michael Harding Crimson Lake, Richeson Quinacridone Red, and Daniel Smith Pearlescent Shimmer. I made sure the mixture did not touch the deeper shadow reds. The effect worked and is evident even after varnishing.

 

 Summer Jewels - Female Calliope    8" X 12"   Original Oil 

The challenge on this piece was to create the brilliance of the blossoms. I'm not sure how many combinations I tried until finally happy with this result. 

 

So why larger than life? We often see hummingbirds so fleetingly, never getting a chance to see the detail on their feathers and even less so the movements of their wings with the naked eye.  

Now, don't hold your breath for a larger than life giraffe! 


Saturday, October 30, 2021

A Welcome Surprise

It had been a trying morning. I had been on hold for two different issues for a long time. On one of them, each time I reached a representative I was told she couldn't hear me and the person hung up. I eventually found out the company was having phone issues.

This is not how I planned to spend my morning. With one issue handled successfully, just before 11 am on October 27 I headed downstairs and walked in to the kitchen preparing to make myself a cup of tea. I stopped dead in my tracks. Outside the kitchen window, right in the yard, was a cow moose!

It has been more than a decade since we have had a moose (which we have seen) on our property. My camera in hand, I quietly approached the window and found another surprise - a moose calf. 

From inside (so not to disturb them) I watched as they moved around the house. The calf smelled a lot of my plants (which he could have easily uprooted and destroyed) but he opted to snack on the remaining leaves of our columnar cherry tree.


Mom kept an eye on her calf and strolled over to see if there were any remaining goodies on the apple tree. After they had their fill, they slowly meandered down the hill.


After a very dry and hot summer, she looked surprisingly fit and had a full healthy coat filling in for winter.

 

I wonder. If I had not had a frustrating couple of hours first thing in the morning, would I have missed seeing this pair?