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.
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 graphite pencil and oils,observation is vital to Clive's working practice.Each drawing or 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 50 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.