Saturday, October 01, 2011

Elephant bull oil studio sketch

10”x14” (25cmx35.5cm)

Yeehaa! My first pachyderm painting from my trip to Botswana!

This painting serves a few purposes…

Firstly - I wanted to try out something in readiness for a bigger painting I have planned of three bulls crossing a waterway. So this was an experiment for colours and lighting as well as the stance of one of the bulls. This is not something I usually do as normally I have a very clear idea of the painting before I start. However in this case I couldn’t make my mind up… on the day I saw the inspiration for this painting it was overcast and rainy – the light was
quite flat, yet this threw up some beautifully soft colour ranges and I really like that idea for my palette on this piece. But I wonder… would it look better if the lighting was a little brighter for the final painting – chuck some sunlight in to lift the image? Deepen the shadows create some more drama? So I plan do another trial piece the same as this only brightly lit with sunlight … so I can compare the two.

Secondly – it was fun to paint more loosely than I normally do for a change… something I have been thinking of playing with for a while, but never had the excuse or time. I am not
going to change my style from what it is now, but it would be good to do some looser pieces as well at times.

Thirdly - purely from a turnover point of view, these little loose pieces are obviously quicker to do and from a size perspective may be easier to sell. Something I have to think about
in these tricky financial times. So if they prove likeable to the buying public it may be another way forward. So I am hoping to do one or two more to show during my Artist in Residence week at Nature in Art later this month to gauge the reaction and see if this is something worthwhile pursuing.

The style of not completely covering the canvas I have seen done many times before by other artists and I have always liked that approach... so it was another reason to add to my "try out" list.

I have in my mind's eye a painting I'd like to do someday, when I feel confident enough with this style - a large canvas with an elephant painted loosely and not completely with a little colour around it's body in places to give it some background. whether or not I shall ever do it remains to be seen.. it may stay in the back of my head, along with all the other "one day" wish paintings I have stored there.

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