Sunday, March 31, 2013

Latest off the easel

As it has been a while since I have posted regularly I thought I should post a few images of work I have done recently. All these paintings are done with oils and are as a result of my Botswana field trip in 2011.

The idea for this piece was after watching three bulls cross the flood plain on a dull drizzly day in the Okavango Delta. I toyed with painting the scene as I saw it with the  muted light conditions; but the bulls had crossed singly so I chose to group them in the composition but still give them that space between them. After some thought I decided to change the light level and backdrop. I went through all my reference photo's  to find a setting that had an 'interesting' tree line and broken reed beds. This has been painted on a deep canvas with the scenery painted round the sides.

I started this painting back last summer it is one of the bigger canvases I have painted so far for my Botswana Collection, it's approx 2' x 3' and I am painting this slightly differently to my normal approach. I am playing with a looser approach for some of my work, these two bulls are my first serious attempt to try and paint less intensely. It has been a challenge to hold off going in with too much detail but it has also been fun 'playing'. These two bulls were seen striding closely side by side one evening near sundown one was very pale probably covered in the pale dust and sandy soil of the surrounding area and the other may have recently washed himself clean of dust as he was much darker. I have had a spell of doing other work, so it has been some months since I last worked on it but this weekend I was able to get back to it. One advantage of the 'time out' has been that I can look at the painting again with fresh objective eyes and can see I have a few adjustments to make to the paler elephant. Over the weekend, though, I concentrated on the darker bull adding in a 'foundation' layer on the ears head and trunk. Once this is dry I shall go over this foundation adding texture which will also lighten him up and better define the highlights.

These three pieces are more examples of some more 'playing' with this looser approach. 

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