Sunday, August 31, 2014

Artist of the Day

For one day I am Artist of the Day on the Artist for Conservation web site. If you are not familiar with this group, take a look around their web site at
This is a group of artists from around the world dedicated to supporting nature through their art.

More featured lechwe

The success of the painting hinges on this lead lechwe.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Artistic License

OK. I admit it. I did not see a ram in this particular group. But, to make the composition work, I needed to turn a female into a male.

The change is not as simple as adding a pair of horns. Males have a thicker neck, more robust body, deeper chest. In Lechwe, the head and body can be darker. Since I was in this section of Botswana before I had a digital camera, it was time to thumb through dozens of 4" X 6" prints looking for my lechwe ram reference.  Fortunately, all my prints are catalogued and cross-referenced (and there are tens of thousands that I have taken.)

Though most of the details were worked out when I originally drew him, I still wanted all these prints in front of me as I painted.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Red lechwe

Red lechwe are perfectly suited to the Okanvango Delta of Botswana. Preferring aquatic and semi-aquatic grasses, the lechwe's hooves are long and splayed enabling them to move easily in the environment. With powerful hind-quarters, these antelope can make great leaps to escape danger.

I started with the lechwe in back and then moved to the more shadowed one.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The lion

The idea of the lion is simple. I needed a reason for all the leaping!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

More Background

I've done some simplifying of the scene. Too many sticks would distract from the action.

Friday, August 22, 2014


Artists often have ideas for months even years before they have the time, resources, or inspiration to paint them.
Yes. 1999. I have had the ideas for this painting rolling around in my head since 1999.
I was in the Okavango Delta in Botswana in a mokoro, a dug out wooden canoe. My guide was standing in the back pushing me along with a pole. Seated, my grass mat was getting progressively wetter and I wondered how long we would stay afloat.
As we rounded a high grass bank, we came across red lechwe. Females and several little ones. A couple of them were surprised by our presence.
Over the years, I have glanced at my reference and thought one day I should paint something with red lechwe. I never got the feeling that I was ready to paint them....until now. I want a good story and when I came up with the lion idea, I knew it was time.

This is a large painting at 35" X 48".

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Announcement #3

My painting Take Off has received another feather. (seems fitting for a bird painting.)  This painting of Tundra Swans was a finalist in The Artist's Magazine's Annual Competition. There were over 7500 total entries and Take Off was selected as a finalist in the Animal/Wildlife Category. All the finalists and winners will be listed in the December issue of The Artist's Magazine.

This is a wonderful magazine which I have been receiving for years. I look forward to each monthly issue, reading it cover to cover and often rereading my favorite articles weeks and months later.

Take Off
8" X 30"
Original Oil

Monday, August 18, 2014

Announcement #2

My painting Take Off has been accepted into the 9th Annual Juried Exhibition of the International Guild of Realism. If you aren't familiar with this group, check out their website at  The work is amazing and I am thrilled to be a part of this guild. I've been a member for four years and have had the good fortune to be juried into the Annual exhibit each year.

This year the Exhibition will be in the exciting historic district of Charleston, S.C.  Held at the prestigious Robert Lange Studios, the work will hang in the gallery from November 7th - November 28th, 2014. Artists will be there for  the opening reception Friday, November 7th.

Take Off
8" X 30"
Original Oil

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Announcement #1

With all the painting I have been doing, I have neglected to make a few announcements. These next several posts will take care of that.

Accepted into the 2014 Artists for Conservation event is my painting Rush Hour. The event will be held at the Grouse Mountain Resort in N. Vancouver September 26th - Oct 5th where my painting will be displayed along with other group members juried into the show. I am honored to have my work included.

As an added bonus, my painting Gold Rush has been accepted into the Artists for Conservation show to be held at the South Florida Festival in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. This show will include works from the Grouse Mountain event and more and is tentatively scheduled to run from February 20th - April 30th, 2015.

Rush Hour
12" X 30" 
Original Oil

Gold Rush
24" X 54"
Original Oil

Hmm. In both pieces there is a lot of rushing around. Think there is something to that?

Friday, August 15, 2014

The completed set

Paired - Lion
24" X 20.5"
Original Oil

I had a great deal of fun playing with the contrast in this painting. Keeping the lioness more in the shadow achieved what I was hoping - your eye goes right to the lion. There are a couple changes since this photo: a darker purple under the lioness's chin and a softening of her chest fur under her chin.

The competed set which will have matching individual custom frames is below:

This set will be sold at Auction February 4th - 7th, 2015 at the Safari Club International Convention, Mandalay Bay Convention Center, Las Vegas, NV

Monday, August 11, 2014


By really playing up the colors both warm and cool, the lighting creates the drama. Most of the lioness will be in shadow which will keep the male the focus of the painting.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

The male lion

The dramatic lighting on this male lion is a blast to paint. I am starting with making this side really cool. Lots of purples and blues.

His shadow side is a bit light right now. I'll adjust that once the other side of his head is blocked in.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

The lion pair

In the leopard pair I had some soft blues in the background to complement the orange highlights in the cats. With the yellow light on the male lion, I thought some purples in the background would really make the highlights stand out.   

When painting animals the first place I start is the eyes. Once the eyes, nose and mouth are painted I have a feeling for the character of the animal. Then it much easier for me to develop the rest of the painting.

Friday, August 1, 2014

One down, one to go

Paired - Leopard
24" X 20.5
Original Oil