Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Sloppy Mess

You might wonder why her leg looks like a sloppy mess.

Here I wanted to pull the grasses through a dark area. In working wet on wet and not waiting for layers to dry, often the paint underneath is as important as the color you are brushing on top. Some of these dark spots will remain, some will have hints, some will be hidden.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Male leopard close-up

There is still more to do on his fur. Once her fur is roughed in, I will go back and revisit the texture and colors on him.

Thursday, July 24, 2014


I started with the eyes and mouth then moved to the spots. The spots help me feel my way around the musculature of the cats. My dark brown Rembrandt oil paints (VanDyke Brown + Paynes Gray mix, VanDyke alone, Raw Umber alone and mixed with Burnt Sienna) will dry overnight so the edges of the spots will be repainted as I blend them with the lighter sections.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Leopard Pair

It is easy to see the difference between a lion and a lioness. Not so easy with leopards and rarely are a mated pair seen together. I had the great fortune to see this pair in the wild in Kenya. Watching them interact naturally, oblivious to me, was one of the most special moments I have had in the wild.

Surprisingly, it did not take me long to figure out the male from the female. Other than the obvious difference (which was not always visible), he was the pursuer. Gentle. (The above painting in my blog header is the male licking the female.) He also looks more masculine. I put him as the upper left leopard which mirrors the upper right position of the male lion in the other painting in the set.

I've roughed in the background and some of the grasses. Next up, spots!

Friday, July 18, 2014


My original plan was to start another big piece. I have an idea all ready to go but the thought of working on another large painting right away did not excite me.

Needing to re-energize, I am switching my painting plan and moving to the next painting. In this case, it is a set. And being cats, one of my favorite subjects, I am ready to plunge in. Once these pieces are done, I will be ready to charge into the large painting, a subject I have wanted to paint for years.

Below, my burnt sienna/raw sienna turpentine wash is completed. Next up I will start with the
leopard pair.

Sunday, July 13, 2014


Always on Guard
Original Oil
34" X 80"

With a painting this large it is often difficult to see the detail. You can see some below.

Friday, July 4, 2014


I start the tundra with broad loose strokes. As this section progresses, the blobs (painting technical term ...wink), streaks, and blotches become tighter and more defined. Not wanting to lose the bright color underneath I make sure to leave space for it.

With the tundra mostly in place there are some adjustments and additions I would like to make. First, some very thin grasses strategically placed will add some lightness to the foreground. Also, I think the tundra needs some bright yellows so I will play with that.
With the busyness of the foreground, the big bull's legs are getting a little lost. Time to revisit them.


Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Crazy with color

Yes, the bottom is really that bright. I've put on a turpentine wash consisting of quinacridone coral and cadmium orange. Rather than have a fairly neutral base to the tundra, this will be intense. Most of the color will be covered but the little that peaks through will mimic the bright reds and oranges of the fall tundra.

Until I get some of the tundra painted, it is a rather distracting color throwing off the carefully orchestrated palette. But I believe the end result will be worth the visual discordance.