Thursday, May 20, 2010

Completed Painting

Original Oil
16.75" X 30"
Sometimes titles are easy. I might even have a title before I begin a painting. Others, like this one, require some work. I had thought of a number of titles, but none seemed to convey what I wanted. So, I grabbed the dictionary looking up words like vista, promontory, and perch.
The next step was alliteration. Rock Retreat or High Hold. All efforts fell short.
Then I thought to look up cougar and the other names associated with this cat. Puma, mountain lion, panther. And, cat-a-mount from the Middle English cat of the mountaine. Perfect. Cat-a-mount is the abbreviation and generally refers to any of the wild cats, specifically cougar, then lynx.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Sticks and Stuff

OK, I admit it. Sticks, grass, and any vegetation are not my favorite things to paint. They can be tedious. However, with just the little I have done here, the painting has a lot more depth.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

More Cougar

One thing many of us artists struggle with is fur. How much detail? Should we grab a tiny brush and paint every hair?

I like to use a more impressionistic feel with fur. This is especially appropriate with the thicker winter coat of the cougar. With blocks of color and broad strokes, I can achieve the illusion of fur. The eyes automatically fill in the details. Not only do I find it more satisfying to paint (moving thicker paint around), but it blends better with my style in the rest of the painting.

And what fun is painting every hair?

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Starting the Cougar


Now comes my favorite part..... the cat. The cougar is what is going to make this painting come alive. Everything, the background, the rocks, and the vegetation, is merely a prop for the star.

I start with the eyes. If I can get the eyes to express what I want, the rest of the painting will just flow. (Note: I save the whiskers for the very last piece of the painting.)