Monday, January 30, 2023


 Got Your Back     24" X 33"   Original Oil


I generally find it easy to know when water is done on a painting. It looks wet. 
However, I do find deciding when grasses are enough more difficult. 
Does it need one more blade here? How about a lighter one or a darker one there. I left one evening when I had finished the painting only to discover the next morning it needed more. A few more grasses here and there but something was still missing. 
That is when I decided what the painting needed was weight at the bottom. I started playing around with sticks and dead vegetation until I felt it had just the right amount angled in the right directions. This kind of thing is a judgement call. Another artist might feel there should have been more defined grasses, or longer or shorter dead vegetation, or different colors within the grass blades.
For me, the painting tells the story I wanted it to tell. The focus seems to be directed to the middle zebra head. And, I got to showcase the wonderful rusty orange colors found on plains zebra. 
Thanks for following along.

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

And the lighter stripes


One of the things I like about painting the lighter stripes is the myriad of colors in them. While the "black" stripes are different shades of black, dark brown, blue, and rusty brown, the "white" stripes are white (titanium white with a touch of cadmium yellow deep), blue, lavender, reddish, dark brown, and dark purple. 

The zebra have solidness once the lighter stripes are painted. This is quite obvious looking at the zebra on the right who still needs his lighter stripes compared to the other two zebra.

Friday, January 20, 2023

More Stripes



 I really had fun playing with the rusty orange colors. Much of the mixtures are various combinations of Rembrandt burnt sienna, cadmium orange and cadmium yellow deep, with hints of Michael Harding Crimson Lake and Rembrandt Titanium White.

Sunday, January 15, 2023



   I've roughed in the background. In the composition, I purposely drew one zebra's ears breaking the horizon.


   As I paint the dark stripes I am keeping in mind how the light touches them as they curve around the zebras' bodies. Much of the light touching them will be painted with a blue/purple/lavender mix. The finish grasses will be painted after the zebra are completed.

Notice how the zebra yellow ochre turpentine underwash stripes mimic how they will be painted to show how the light touches them.


The focal point of the painting is the middle zebra's head. While his most visible eye is in shadow, it couldn't be just a black hole. So, with a bit of artistic license, I enhanced the color.

Thursday, January 5, 2023

New in progress painting

 Happy New Year!

Time for an African piece. 
After I did my usual light yellow ochre turpentine wash all over the board, I decided to go back in and do a heavier wash on the dark zebra stripes. The heavier wash will show through in various spots on the painting which will enliven the look of the piece. I must admit I was tempted to change my entire idea of the painting and just paint this much as an abstract zebra piece. However, I think this particular painting will work better fully painted. But, I wouldn't be surprised if I use the abstract partial painting idea sometime in the future.
Below is the heavier turpentine wash on all of the stripes. This will take several days to dry.