Finished the furthest elements of the background and after being left to dry for a day or two ive now started work on the Snipe.At this stage ive given the bird its first coat of thinned oil and blocked in some of the feather details.The painting will now once again be put to one side to dry before adding more detailed coats of oil paint to the bird.
Ive wanted to paint this scene ever since i managed to very luckily get a couple of decent shots of a snipe scurrying from one patch of cover to another.I was visiting Oare marshes in Kent on a bit of a patchy day as winter was just beginning to give way to spring.As i looked through the viewfinder on my camera i caught a bit of movement at the waters edge and decided to follow what i had recognised as the cryptic plumage of a snipe working its way through vegetation in the hope that i may get a decent shot if it emerged at some point.after a few moments the bird reached the edge of one patch of vegetation and made a dash for a further clump of dead and dry vegetation a few yards away and was in the open just long enough for me to fire off a couple of shots.when i got home i checked my camera and was delighted to find a lovely shot of the bird moving quickly and decided one day i would attempt to paint this.And so the day has come to try and do this scene justice in oils.ive decided to work from back to front with this painting as the layers of vegetation will be overlapping each other the further forward the image progresses.i started by laying in the basic background tones for water and mud ,preserving my drawn out snipe as best as i could.i then added some more colour and built up,quite thickly and relatively loosely the water.The painting was then put to one side for a month or so as i worked on other pieces and now having returned to this one i'm now adding the background vegetation and its reflections before i tackle the bird itself.i really know no other way to handle my paints other than in a meticulous and detailed fashion and so i foresee this painting taking no less an amount of time than usual to complete.
ive started work on a newly commissioned work featuring a clients pet skunk.I first met the delightful Stevie when her owner introduced me to her whilst visiting my stand at the marwell wildlife art society's annual exhibition a month or so ago.needless to say she caused quite a stir of excitement amongst fellow artists and exhibition visitors alike and really stole the show.i have drawn one of her owners other animals,an ocelot,several years ago and was delighted to be asked to produce this really special portrait of Stevie.The highly unusual pose was captured in reference photo's taken at eye level with the animal as she positioned herself into the skunks threatening posture which is quite something to see as the animal seems to rock herself back onto her wrists whilst arching the back and raising and spreading its tail over its back.in a wild animal it would most definitely be a time to make a hasty exit.ive never come across a skunk before but it's immediately obvious that she is a member of the mustelid family with a very cute face reminiscent of polecats and pine martins as well as the feet and claws.this is going to be a pretty tough drawing to get right as a good deal of it is white including the spreading tail and so i'm going to have to think of a way to make it stand out from the paper without actually drawing it,possibly by negative drawing either with a pencil or blending stump.i started with the easier black fur and in particular the head of the animal and now i'm working my way from left to right layering and building up texture as i go to complete the remaining black fur on the body
yesterday i managed to complete the furthest tree trunk and branches and as i suspected it means i will have to re-paint entirely the foremost tree trunk using the same(and better)technique that ive employed on the furthest one.
after languishing on the back burner for a while ive finally started work once more on my leopard painting.i'm working on the tree trunk behind the leopard and as you can see its almost complete.its taken me a while to get to grips with the technique necessary to portray the tree bark texture in a way i find convincing and whilst i am naturally very pleased that i feel i'm now accomplishing this it does mean that inevitably i must face re-painting the closer trunk to a degree using that same technique.inevitably this also means further delay in getting around to painting the main subject itself but as long as i feel i can do better i will not allow a painting to leave the studio until ive put my utmost into it.
ive now signed my fox painting and whilst i think i could add more to the foreground i also think that it may detract from the centre point of the painting ,the fox itself,and so i'm going to leave it alone.once its thoroughly dry i shall oil out the surface to even up the sheen across the piece,as is often the case when using a lot of browns the surface is quite matt in places as you can probably see from observing my hopeless attempt at a studio photo.i will post a better image after scanning.after spending far too long on a couple of pieces recently i'm looking forward to getting stuck into a few new projects including a couple of intrigueing commissioned pieces.
paid a visit to my publishing house this afternoon to sign prints and approve some new proofs destined for release early next year.The colour images reproduced from my oil paintings are mounted onto thick board and hand varnished after ive signed and numbered them to replicate the original paintings.cant wait for spring and the release of several new images to the market.