Sunday, September 21, 2014

New WIP - Female White Necked Jacobin

After working on two back-to-back large pieces, I've decided to work on a much smaller scale. It's always a nice break for me and something different to keep it fun and interesting. Coincidentally, I've been also thinking of entering a small works show that's coming up in the next few months. I thought a pair of White-necked Jacobins would be fun to paint and perfect for the small scale, so I poured through my reference photos from my Trinidad trip back in 2008. What an adventure that was! Jacobins are a fairly large hummingbird (approx. 4.5" long). Yesterday, I started work on the female...
WIP - Female White-necked Jacobin, 6 x 6, oil
Click image to enlarge.

Finished - Snowy Owl Painting "Arctic Visitor"

I finally finished the snowy owl piece. It was inspired by the snowy owl that came through our area last December. I depicted her hunting the edge of a corn field covered in snow melt that had frozen over. I spent several very chilly days photographing her with numb fingers but it was worth it. She was beautiful. Hope you like it.
Arctic Visitor, 24 x 24, oil.
Click image to enlarge.
Detail of Arctic Visitor.
Click image to enlarge.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

WIP - Snowy Owl Update 2

Here's where I left off on the snowy owl yesterday. The image is cropped because I only worked on the top portion of the painting. As you can see, the owl's plumage pattern is all in. I will need to go back later and refine some parts of the owl but for now, I've moved on to the rest of the piece. Yesterday, I worked on the dark twigs and the snow peeking through them. I also started to work on the dried clumps of grasses. Today, I'm attacking some of the snow and ice.

Click image to enlarge

Thursday, July 31, 2014

New WIP - Snowy Owl

Recently, I started work on a new painting inspired by a northern visitor who briefly came through the area back in December...a snowy owl. She was beautiful. The first wild one I had ever seen. She was hunting a nearby field, a mere 3 miles from my house. Her stay was brief; 3 or 4 days before she moved on. For most of those days, I went out in the morning and evening to photograph her along with many other photographers. It was bitterly cold. The kind of cold that numbs your fingers in no time, but I wouldn't have missed her for the world. She caused quite a bit of attention. Word spread quickly. Birders from all over came to catch a glimpse of her.

For my painting, I chose to compose her in a section of corn field with snow melt that had frozen over. It made an interesting abstract design that I liked. Using thinned oils, I roughed in my sketch. No details yet, just establishing values and laying out shapes.

Click image to enlarge.

Below, you can see a close-up of the owl itself in progress. Her plumage has proved to be quite challenging. The black barring is essential to get correct because it follws the form of the owl.

Click image to enlarge.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Finished: "Lone Ranger"

Fresh off the easel, here's "Lone Ranger". This big fella was a joy to paint. Bison are great subjects because they are massive, muscular, cantankerous characters and it's great fun to paint the texture on their humps! Enjoy :)
Lone Ranger, oil, 18x36
Click image to enlarge.
 

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Bison Update

Slowly making progress on the bison painting. This is where I left off on it yesterday. I spent most of the day working on it refining the grasses mostly. There's A LOT of grass in this painting! I am trying to say "grass" without painting every single blade of it. I am squinting trying to find shapes in the grass (if that makes any sense) and then painting these shapes and only pulling out some highlighted ones. Seems to be working. So what's left to do? Well, I need to finish the foreground grasses, finish the hind portion of the bison, and the fun part - the water. I truly love to paint water! The next post will be the finished piece.
WIP - Click image to enlarge

Sunday, April 20, 2014

New WIP: Bison

Currently on my easel is this big fella. I love painting animals in or near water because I love painting water. So when I photographed this bison bull crossing this stream in Yellowstone I knew it would become a future painting. This painting will be completed in oils and measures 18x36. I started the painting by toning the panel down with a thinned acrylic burnt sienna. Then, I started loosely blocking the bison in with oils thinned with mineral spirits.

Here's a detail shot of the bison in the initial block-in phase. 
 
This is the whole painting blocked in and ready for detail. 
 
This is how the painting currently looks. Details have been added to the bison and work has started on the grasses.