Saturday, November 26, 2022

Continuing the cougar




My palette is looking like a jumble now. I start with placing titanium white in the upper left and then add colors along the top as needed. All the mixing is below.

For the cat I am using mostly two angle brushes, one quite small. Once the direction of the fur is painted I'll take a larger blending brush (not shown) to soften it. Smaller blending brushes are used during the initial applying of paint.

Monday, November 21, 2022

More cougar


 With fur, I like to work in sections, blending the colors while they are wet in the direction of the fur. I am using a small angle brush to simulate the texture.


One of the dangers of just using a small brush is the fur can look too controlled and the highlights may not resonate as fully as I would like. Once the fur on his chest is dry, I'll use a larger angle brush to layer in some brighter pieces catching the sunlight.

Friday, November 18, 2022

Starting on the cougar


My first step on an animal is to start with the eyes. Once I have them at a realistic stage I'll move on to the nose. Often I revisit the eyes to make tweaks as the painting progresses.

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Time for a larger piece

   It has been a while since I have painted a piece on the larger side so decided to make this one 24" X 36." This idea has been rolling around in my head for several years and I finally thought of the way I wanted to approach it.

   Like for most of my paintings I started with the top of the painting and am working background to foreground. One of the things I like most about oil is its flexibility. I can work a sky while wet, adding lighter and darker passages and blending the edges. The blue sky peep hole was something I thought would add to the movement in the painting. One can get the feeling that it, like the cat, may not be there long.

Thursday, November 10, 2022

Finished fox


After the Snowfall
11" X 15"
Original Oil

I've added a bit more snow by his back legs for a more natural snowline and have decreased how much you can see of his left back leg under his belly. 

Monday, November 7, 2022

More fox


Working in the direction of the fox's fur, here you can see the start of the shadowed area on his fur. It was this idea from the beginning cat photo of Pebbles in bright light and shadow which intrigued me.

Friday, November 4, 2022

Starting the fox



With some quick phone photos you can see how I am building the fox.

Tuesday, November 1, 2022

Where do art ideas come from?

 There are probably as many answers to that question as there is art.

I'd like to share with you the circuitous idea evolution of my latest painting.
As I was looking over images of the paintings I am bringing for my upcoming show at Waterfowl Festival in Easton, Maryland ( I felt a painting was missing. For a while I stared at the images as a set on my computer wracking my brain for just the right idea or even subject matter to give me a jump start. The grouping to some might feel disparate but I thought one more piece would supply the missing link.

Then it came to me. I needed a fox painting. And, if I put the fox in the snow, that might be just right.

First I started looking through my snow photos from around the house. 
The winter lighting here can be is so perfect on freshly fallen snow that I am often out walking our woods looking for good reference. As I went through hundreds of my photos, one stopped me in my tracks. It was a photo (one of my favorites) of Pebbles out on one of our walks.

This will take a bit of explanation. We walk our cats in the woods. This is something they enjoy year-round, including in snow. They get a chance to explore the area in safety with us, smelling traces of visitors, climbing trees, and playing with each other when we have two cats. And yes they stay with us and are disappointed if a morning or evening walk is missed!

Pebbles was a cat which adopted us. She lived with a neighbor on an adjacent ten acre parcel but when she reached eight preferred our dog-free property. The neighbor was fine with the change of address and even would come up to feed her when we were out of town. (Note: we have only had cats which adopted us or we have adopted from a shelter.)

Below is the photo which inspired the painting.

Here are two more of Pebbles.

And here is the start of the painting with the background reversed.