Saturday, February 12, 2011

Artist and Illustrators magazine March 2011 Issue

So now the March issue is for sale I can now post an image of the painting I did for the Masterclass article I was asked to do for this publication.

Unfortunately the image in the magazine has come out a lot darker than the original, I think my screen settings may be different to the publishers, so if I am asked again I must try and remember to check that with them. Still, I’m very pleased with the article and hope that the readers of this magazine will enjoy it as much as I did painting and writing it.

The intro to the step-by-step explains why I chose to paint gorillas.

“This painting came about as I wanted to produce something that I could use to tie in with this year’s fund-raising conservation campaign of the European Association of Zoos and Aquariums (EAZA), which is raising awareness of the problems facing the world’s ape species. But I didn’t want to portray wild apes, as I have not seen them in the wild.
For a number of years now I have chosen to base my paintings only what I have seen first hand, and therefore visually understand. Bristol Zoo Gardens (whom I work for) have a lovely family group of western lowland gorillas who would be perfect subjects, as I have seen them often and know a little of their characters.
I also wanted a positive image to reinforce the zoo’s commitment to conservation for this species and something with the “Aah Factor” that would appeal to a wide audience. A mother and her youngster - Salome and Komale, seemed to fit the bill perfectly. Every animal is important, of course, but I think Komale, is rather special because after 20 years of not having a baby, Salome received ground-breaking fertility treatment in 2004 and little Komale was born in December 2006. This painting of them both depicts him when he was just under two years old, a real cutie and a great success in the breeding programme as Salome’s blood line is very important.”

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Back in October 2010, during my Artist in Residence week at the Nature In Art Museum and Art Gallery in Gloucestershire, UK; I started a painting of a camel and rider. This was an experiment for me to try out water-mixable oil colours for the first time to see if they were the answer to my question of what paints I would take to Botswana for my field trip. Although they work and look like oils, they are formulated so that water can be added to thin the colour for easier blending and also for washing brushes afterwards. This makes them more environmentally friendly than traditional oils, yet still giving me all the advantages of them, and that was what I was looking for to use in such a situation.

I have since finished the painting, but had not got around to posting it here on my blog… so here’s the final piece… it’s a small painting on stretched canvas (40 x 30cms).