Monday, January 17, 2022

Warrior King


Warrior King   Original Oil   24" X 16"

Here is a scan of the completed painting. Once varnished, the dark texture will no longer have the "ghost" of reflected light.

I've decided to go with a gloss varnish. This is a change for me as I like a semi-gloss or a satin. It seemed the traditional nature of the dramatic lighting called for gloss.

I asked my framer to paint the frame to match my mottled background and touch the inside lip of the frame with a hint of the golden color of the mane. The frame started as a matte black. She is amazing. Holly Swanson, owner of Spokane Gallery & Framing. 

Below is a quick photo of the finished frame. We went with a more satin look for the frame so not to distract from the painting.

This may seem like a quick painting but I have sped it up for you in the blog.

Thank you for joining me as I explored the use of chiaroscuro.   


Friday, January 14, 2022

Almost There



At this stage the structures of his head have been painted but none of the lighter sections nor the colors of his mane in the sunlight.

Note: Quick photo with my phone

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

More lion

 For his mane below his chin I'm keeping it loose with some vibrant colors mixed in. Some of this will be toned down near the end but I wanted to start with some splashes of reds and golds.

The first thing I did after painting the mottled background was paint his eyes. A painting can fall flat if the eyes don't grab one's attention. Though they were painted at the beginning, that does not mean I am done with them. Throughout the painting I am making changes to get just the right feeling from them. Below is a photo of them at this stage of the painting.


Now that the other ear is painted, the painting feels less lopsided to me. I wanted to work on the shadowed side first and use the information I gathered from that side to "inform" how I wanted to approach the lit side.

Note: these are quick photos from my phone

Monday, January 10, 2022


Chiaroscuro has fascinated me. The use of extreme light and dark, perfected by Rembrandt, has been a tool of artists for centuries. For this lion, which obviously had been the victor in numerous battles, I thought this technique would reflect the honor he had won. 

I began with a mottled background of dark browns and burnt sienna. This dark background will help emphasize the light parts of the lion's mane.


Next I started on his mane. I went kind of wild with the red but I thought it would add to the drama.


I am not concerned with portraying the individual hairs of his fur but am using broad strokes in the direction of his fur. This shadowed section will have the least amount of detail.

On the rim of the lion's shoulder I have added some blue. This is the same blue color around his eyes and mouth.

Note: These are quick photos with my phone.

Monday, January 3, 2022

Ice Bear awarded 3rd place

 My painting Ice Bear has been awarded 3rd place in the Challenges of Climate Change presented by Science Art-Nature. The awards were announced December 2021.

While art is an important focus of the Challenges of Climate Change, so is the science. To see more about Ice Bear in this context, click here.

For more about the non-profit Science Art - Nature, click here.


From the Science Art - Nature website:

Works of Science Art skillfully represent truths about the world and its creatures, often suggesting important connections among subjects and their surroundings and teaching us indirectly about nature itself.

To qualify as Science Art and to work well, the rendering is accompanied by an explanatory caption that helps the viewer decode the underlying science.

We have been asked: “Why Science Art?” The term neither describes the science of artistic creation nor the depiction of scientific events.

Instead, we see in Science Art a kind of cultural fusion in which painting or sculpture or photography say something about the natural world and how it works. Whether or not it is motivated by a scientific purpose, a work of Science Art can enrich the viewer with a sense that its subject is connected with, and could help explain, relationships.

The artist sometimes uses scientific knowledge and findings; sometimes these emerge only because the artist’s execution is sensitive and faithful to these relationships.

We have also been asked: “Why not ‘Environmental Art’ or ‘Wildlife Art’ or ‘Nature Art’?” Works of art that represent truths about the natural world and its creatures certainly include these categories, although not all examples of Environmental Art, Wildlife Art, and Nature Art convey truths. Here, too, it is the explanatory caption that provides the viewer with access to truths that might otherwise be overlooked.