Saturday, December 14, 2013

Moose Commission #2 Finished!

I finished this one up last weekend actually. Due to the weather and being away for work, I was unable to get outside and get a decent photo of it until this morning. This was a challenging piece, particularly because most of my reference was in indirect lighting. My client wanted a brighter looking day so I worked from many references. I hope they like it.
Moose and calf commission - 24x30, oil
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Thursday, November 28, 2013

WIP: Moose Commission #2

Happy Thanksgiving! (To those who celebrate it.) Here's what the moose painting looked like before I started work on it today. I hope to get a lot done on it during this holiday weekend.
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Sunday, November 17, 2013

New WIP: Moose Commission #2

Over the last few weeks I've been working on another moose painting in oil. This is the second of a pair that a collector of mine commissioned me to paint. The first piece was of a bull moose in a mountain setting which you can see here in an earlier post. For this piece, the collector wanted a cow moose and calf crossing water with a beaver lodge off in the distance. I have not blocked the lodge in yet, but you can see where I lightly pencilled it in on the right hand side of the piece just to the left of the clumps of grass lining the riverbank. I am working from many different references for this painting as this scene does not really exist. The collector had specific requests for the scenery so I had to compose the painting using parts of different references. I am also referring to different reference just for lighting. My main reference photo is in overcast conditions; however, my client wants a sunny day. It's been challenging to say the least, but I think it's coming along. Like the bull moose painting, this one measures 24x30.

Click image to enlarge


Saturday, October 26, 2013

Catching Up

It's been awhile since I've posted to my blog - my apologies. I'll catch you up. I took a little break after completing the bull moose commission. Then, I started a few small pieces. I completed a little 8x6 oil of a White-breasted nuthatch, one of my favorite visitors to the feeder. They like to stash their seeds in the rough bark of our hemlock tree. I did not take any progress shots as it was done very quickly in just 2 days. Some kind of record for me!

Seed Stasher, 8x6, Oil
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I then started an 11x14 oil of a wolf in a snow scene. It was started as a demo piece because I was invited by my gallery in Jackson, WY to do a painting demo during the Fall Arts Festival in September. Pictured below is the start of it. 

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The demo never happened unfortunately. I ended up missing it because my flight was cancelled and I could not make it out to Jackson in time. I flew out the next day and was able to make the reception at least. I spent the next 7 days in Grand Teton and Yellowstone N.P. collecting new reference material including some great shots of moose, otters, bighorn sheep, elk, mule deer, and grizzly bears! It was an awesome trip. Thankfully, I just missed the Government shutdown of the parks.

A few short weeks after returning from out west, I travelled to Bennington, Vermont for the Society of Animal Artists annual members exhibition "Art and the Animal". My painting, "Red-knobbed Hornbill" was selected for the exhibit. It was a beautiful show. There's still time to catch the exhibit; it will be at the Bennington Center for the Arts through October 31st. It will then go on tour to the Hiram Blauvelt Museum, Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, and the Booth Museum of Western Art. You can check the Society of Animal Artists exhibitions link for exact dates.   

At the artists reception for "Art and the Animal".
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  Upon returning from Vermont, and a several week long hiatus from painting, I started up again on the wolf painting. This is where I left off on it last week. I will have to put it aside once again because I must start work now on a second moose painting commission. This painting is going to the same client as the last commission. It will feature a cow moose and her calf. I started sketching it out today and I will keep you posted on its progress. Now, I think you're all caught up!

Click image to enlarge.


Saturday, July 20, 2013

Finished: Bull Moose Commission

The bull moose commission is done I believe. I really hope my client likes it! This is the first of two pieces they have commissioned me to do. Before I start the next one, I will be taking a small break to get a few small pieces done for a gallery show in September.

Bull Moose Commission, oil, 24x30
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Detail of Bull Moose
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Sunday, July 7, 2013

WIP: Bull Moose Commission Update 2

Much has been done since my last update on the moose painting. The sky and mountains are completed - they may require some minor touchups at the end; the vegetation is almost finished - I still have a few trees and brush to attend to and now the grasses are underway. I've been pretty much working this painting from the top down. The moose has not been touched since the block-in phase. I will be starting work on him very soon.
Click image to enlarge

Saturday, June 8, 2013

New WIP: Bull Moose Commission

I am currently working on what is the first in a pair of 24"x30" moose paintings I have been commissioned to paint. My client is kindly letting me share this piece with you as it progresses. The client wanted a bull moose in a mountain setting so I am using the Grand Teton range as the backdrop for the handsome moose. It is still in the block-in phase... just laying in the first layer of color. As you can see, I need to finish blocking in the mountains and a few more trees. Then, I will start to go in with the next layer and refine as I go.
Click image to enlarge

Finished: Goldfinch and Thistle

My apologies for not getting this posted sooner! I've been very busy with a commission (more on that later). I finished this one early last month I believe. This was quite a fun piece to do. I really liked playing up the texture of the thistles and the fluff with the use of a palette knife and one of my new favorite tools - an angle chisel Colour Shaper. I also used an old credit card for scratching into the paint along the edges of the thistle. This piece will be on its way shortly to Grand Teton Gallery where it will be available. 

Goldfinch and Thistle, 14x11, oil on linen
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Goldfinch and Thistle (Detail)
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Friday, April 19, 2013

Liebster Blog Award

I have received the Liebster Blog Award from the Swedish painter Måns Sjöberg. Thank you Måns! With an economy of strokes, Måns creates beautiful watercolors. I admire greatly artists that can do this because it is so difficult! I especially enjoy his bird paintings.

Per the rules of the award, I must now choose 5 bloggers whom I think deserve recognition. They all deserve it because they are fantastic artists that capture the beauty of nature in their art. Please check out their blogs and you’ll see why: John Mullane, Jim Bortz, Matthew Hillier, Cathy Sheeter, and Jason Tako.

These are the Liebster Blog Award rules: 1. Thank the person who gave you the award. 2. Link back to their blog. 3. Copy and paste the Liebster Award to your profile. 4. Pick 5 blogs that you feel deserve to be in the spotlight. They must have 200 followers or under. 5. Blog about it and leave a comment for your nominations to let them know that you have chosen their blog.

Monday, April 15, 2013

WIP 3: Goldfinch

Here's where I left off on the goldfinch painting yesterday. The bird is pretty much done either than his foot. I started in on some of the thistle and added another layer of color to the background.
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Saturday, April 13, 2013

WIP 2: Goldfinch

Before I get started working on the goldfinch this morning, here's the work that's been done so far.

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Saturday, April 6, 2013

WIP 1: Goldfinch

Here's the beginning of a new oil painting I started today. It's a male goldfinch on thistle. I just laid in a loose sketch with some thinned burnt umber and burnt sienna. I will let this dry overnight and then start adding color tomorrow.

Red Knobbed Hornbill

I recently completed this watercolor of a male Red Knobbed Hornbill. Sorry there are not any progress shots of this one. It seemed like everytime I wanted to snap a progress shot outside, the weather was bad. So, I just kept working. This piece measures 22x15. I painted it on a sheet of handmade Twinrocker paper. It was my first time using their paper; it was different than the Strathmore 300 lb paper I'm used to. It buckled easily, which I was not happy with. Doubt I will be using it again. My reference for this painting was obtained from the San Diego Zoo.

Red Knobbed Hornbill, 22x15, Watercolor on Twinrocker paper
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Detail - Red Knobbed Hornbill
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Saturday, February 16, 2013

Finished: Moose Painting

This piece took awhile, but it's finally done. Those rocks were a challenge and really slowed me down, but I like how they turned out in the end. I've titled this painting "Prime Time" because the fall color and light was prime and the bull moose was in his prime ready to take on any would-be challengers.  
Prime Time, 18 x 24, Oil on Gessobord
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Prime Time (Detail)
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Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New WIP: Moose

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Sorry it's been awhile since my last post...the holidays and just generally being busy has kept me from posting anything. I assure you I have been painting! I'm currently working on an 18x24 oil of a bull moose. This piece was inspired by my trip last fall to Grand Teton National Park. I specifically went there to seek out moose reference and the moose did not disappoint! On my last day out there, I was fortunate enough to capture this big guy in gorgeous morning light crossing a riverbed. This painting has been slow-going as there's quite a bit of scenery and water to tackle. I toned the panel with a wash of burnt sienna. I started working from the top down, but I could not resist working on the moose and getting some of the water started. You can see the section I've been avoiding - the middle area. This area is supposed to be a stoney bank. On the far right, behind the moose's butt, you can see where I've started to lay the stones loosely in. It helps me to turn the painting upside down when painting complicated areas such as this. By turning the piece upside down, it forces my eyes to see shapes. Hopefully, by the next post, the stoney bank will be in place.

Click image to enlarge.