Completed the underpainting for my latest fox painting and its now been set aside to dry for a few days.Whilst it's drying i need to find myself an interesting tree stump to photograph and use as a reference for the tree stump i'll be placing to the right rear of the painting.
With this painting i'm going to be re-visiting a subject that i first completed as a graphite drawing some 13 years ago now.Foxes,as those who follow my blog regularly will know,are one of my favourite subjects for drawings and paintings and i have completed many fox artworks.This one was published as a limited edition lithograph print right at the outset of my publishing career and was the first of many prints to sell out while i was working exclusively in graphite.When i started with oils this image ,along with a few others,was one of those that i hoped to one day produce a coloured version of.I like to have several paintings underway at any one time to keep my spirits up as sometimes i find myself getting a bit bogged down and bored with paintings which inevitably leads to very slow progress and a finished job that never feels quite worthy.Having cut and primed my mdf board i went straight into the drawing of the fox outline without any initial colouring of the gesso this time after discovering how much i dislike coloured gesso whilst preparing my leopard painting.Luckily i still have all the photo references i took of the animal as well as a copy of the original print still hanging here at home to glean references from.i intend for it to be much the same as the original pencil version although perhaps simplified a little in terms of items within the painting and more concentrated on the lighting of the piece than could be achieved using graphite.I think i'm going to go with a dark background and a tree stump behind the fox but i want to try and almost have the fox highlighted by a pool of light during its slumbers.This idea may change depending on how it pans out as i try and paint it.using larger brushes ive used undiluted oils for the underpainting but as is my preferred technique ive pushed the paint around a lot and scrubbed it into the surface of the board so that the initial coat is very thinly applied.i love this very 'free' stage of the painting,completing areas very quickly and thinking and mixing on the go as opposed to the more studied approach i'll take to the detailed coats.This is the image as of halfway through the day,the sun came out and i couldn't resist abandoning the studio for a few hours as weve seen so little of it this year,hopefully the initial underpainting will be completed this evening.
The first stage of this painting is now completed.I like to work from the back to the front when painting and drawing and so the furthest elements of the background have been completed first.after purchasing some ready mixed colours to help me out with the dreaded greens i found they were just as inadequate as my previous attempts at mixing and so i sought advice on mixing greens from some very experienced painter colleagues.Thanks to the wise words i now feel ive finally got a handle on mixing greens and am rather pleased with the colours in this painting thus far.much of this background will eventually have elements of the immediate foreground overlapping it and so ive tried to complete this element a little looser than my usual style by using larger brushes and mixing many of the colurs on the board itself.working on a painting of this scale for the first time i can now appreciate the larger handled brushes and rather like the looser,bolder brushstroke kind of approach even though at the moment it still feels entirely unnatural to me.Next up is to tackle the tree that the leopard is resting in and again i hope to be able to complete it a little loosely leaving the cat only in tight detail.
South coast based Clive Meredith is an entirely self-taught artist and has been working professionally since 1993 specialising in detailed portrayals of wildlife from both Britain and abroad. Clive's initial interest in wildlife and the countryside was fostered in his early years, brought up the son of a dairy farmer, and spending hours outside in the Shropshire countryside birdwatching and larking about on the river Severn and its streams in his hometown of Shrewsbury. Working in both oils and mixed media,observation is vital to Clive's working practice.Each painting reveals meticulous attention to detail,achievable only by hours spent in the field observing and photographing subjects in their natural habitat.As a result Clive has become renowned for the stunning realism of his images and an incredibly assured ability to inject real life and character into his works. His art has been extensively published with over 80 limited edition releases to date and can be found in galleries throughout the uk and beyond. In 2010 Clive was named Wildlife Artist of the Year by Wildscape magazine after winning the prestigious annual competition with his image 'The Egret pool' and appeared as a finalist in the DSWF Wildlife Artist of the Year 2010,2012 and 2013 with works exhibited at The Mall Galleries in London. Clive is a member of the Pencil Art Society and the RSPB.