Archive for April, 2011

Yeah okay it took awhile but you know over winter it’s nice to have a little breather. But I’ve been working hard today updating the website and added Fleece Navidad (starry night ram) AND The Big Blacks (percheron mares.) (woohoo me!) And yes I’m also working on the lion painting. Will be posting another pic soon.

So back to business … For more information on either of these paintings or for print information check out the Wild Faces Gallery website.

FYI the links on the painting titles will take you directly to the pages that feature that artwork.

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Ha! I sure showed me.
So I thought ya’ll might be getting just a little tired of looking at the lions and since my folder says I have ten articles in draft I thought I’d select something that was about something other than my wip lion painting.

Me: Oh look there’s one on selling art. I open it. Completely empty other than the title. Hm.

Me: Okay so here’s one on Packing & Shipping Art. Excellent! Yup empty also. It turns out I have a folder full of “ideas” on articles not “actual” articles. (sigh)

Why this is … I don’t remember. I mean it’s not my usual way of doing stuff you know. I can only assume knowing that with old age my memory begins to slip and so I thought I’d play a practical joke on myself.

Boy we sure fooled us. Good one me.

So now I’m forced to create something with a lion painting wip as part of it because I’m totally too lazy to create an article from scratch on selling artwork today. Since it’s been forever since I did any This is how I do stuff posts I thought I’d go that way.

Note: This piece is done on suede (the shiny area is covered with frisket film) and with the exception of the eye, has been done completely dry. Kinda makes you wonder why I bother to use watercolor pencils at all huh? Well … I like to keep my options open.

The Rule of 3
To create the various shades of lion hair I’m using 8 different colors (more or less) In general I use a minimum of 3 colors for any given area. Pretty simple concept. I chose at least one each of the light, medium and dark colors.

So for the lightest fur I have a Caran d’Ache Cream & Orangish Yellow and Faber Castell Gold Ochre.

Medium Fur: Faber Castell Gold Ochre.& Raw Umber Plus Derwent Rexel Sepia

And for the Darkest
: I use Inktense Dark Chocolate & a warmer chocolate but the actual pencil name has been worn off and the Derwent Sepia

So as I slip from lighter to darker areas I work down my hue intensity colors.

Note: No white or black has been used in the fur area

I think the biggest mistake newbies make when trying to create believable hair is to use too few colors. You need more than just highlight and shadow. Most animal and human hair is a myriad of colors and the trick is finding the right grouping while avoiding creating mud.

A wiser person than I would probably try a little something out on a scrap piece (in order to avoid creating mud) before committing it to the final work. But I think as we’ve already established with my empty draft folder articles, wisdom is not always my forte’.


I thought perhaps I should throw in that the Rule Of 3 is something that I just made up. And honestly it’s more like a guideline than a rule. But it is how I create hair and most anything that I want a degree of realistic reflective light.

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A Lion (or two) For Easter

I suppose it should have been a lion and a lamb huh?

I cropped this image (instead of showing the whole board as I’ve done in the past) to give a (slightly) closer approximation to the finished image size. The legs on Mr. Awesome are only just blocked in as I figured I’d finish them when working in the stone so they’ll not be too cut and paste looking.

Soon I’ll begin the righthand lioness. And then … the universe implodes. Well maybe not. But I’ve yet to figure out my background. (sigh) If you want to view a bigger image of this painting just visit my African Wildlife Art Page and scroll down to what’s on the drafting table now.

Happy Easter Ya’ll!!

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The Left Hand Lioness Wip

So I began her on Sunday and played a little more with the painting today though it was very overcast and so my lighting wasn’t the best. The below photo is todays progress.

Yup still trying to avoid using my drafting table lights so I will end up with a painting that looks good in natural light.

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The Latest On The Lions

So here’s the progree so far. I am going to start working on the lioness on the left before putting in all the dark brown mane otherwise I’ll just end up tracking it all over my suede board.

Man I dislike doing long hair. I know you’d think with all the manes I painted in my life (meaning horses) long hair would be old hat by now.

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It's Too Darn Early …

So my weekend away way enjoyable and tiring. I think the older I get the more travel takes out of me. Or perhaps I’m just a little cranky about my homecoming.

Late Saturday night the sirens went off. Our farm is located 3 miles from Rolfe and 5 miles from Plover and usually (depending on how hard the hail is pounding the roof) we can hear the tornado sirens. Both town’s sirens went off about 10 am and ran intermittently until around 11. We never went in the basement but we both kept watch looking outside. Tornados make a kind of roaring noise that is very distinctive so you usually get a little bit of a heads up. Seconds maybe. I had gathered up candles, matches, my cell phone clothes and had water all ready to go to the basement. After 11 we checked radar and all watches were canceled so we went to bed. Cisco (my dog) woke me twice in the night because the storm picked up ferocity and she and I would wait it out and then I’d crash for a few more hours.

My first inkling that something was wrong was when the phone rang at 8am Sunday morning. This never happens. Me being way too tired had quite literally been standing upright for less than a minute and was only half dressed. My answering machine picked up the call, but it has a twisted sense of humor and scoff mockingly at the usual answering machine duty and tends to cut people off, which it promptly did. Then shortly thereafter there was a knock at the door. Again pretty much never happens so early on a Sunday.

Turns out there were a few tornados in the area and rumor had it one hit Rolfe, though it hadn’t. We once again got very lucky. Though some folks did not. 6 farms were devastated that night and the miracle being no one was injured.

Normally June is the time of year I begin to cast a cautious eye towards the heavens on hot days or when the sky turns green. April is way too early.

So we went to a movie (Rango -= which was very cute) on Sunday and thus I have no news lion images just yet. Next post I’ll show the progress even if it’s not much.

For those of you not familiar with what tornados can do check out this news footage about the tornado activity we had that night.

Edited: To say Hey Joan, (if you’re reading this) I heard you had some activity in the FD area. How are things there?

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A Weekend Getaway

Nope I’m not heading to the Bahamas, or even the Rockies. I heading to Minneapolis for a framing open house with my dear friend Barb on our annual pilgrimage to Framers Supply. (yup excitement abounds.) Despite this being more about me just going along for the ride I am really looking forward to a break. Winter has been long this year.

Last year we hit the awesome art supply store in St. Paul called Wet Paint and went to the MN Horse Expo. This year we have no plans for anything other than framing stuffs.

Got more done on the lion but ya’ll have to wait until I return for it. Have a great weekend. See you on the flip side.

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Lion Painting – today's progress

Hard to actually see what it looks like because the image is so large but I figured I’d bore ya’ll with too many detail shots.

I am enjoying playing with this piece, am a little concerned as to how I’ll handle the background but I’m sure I’ll work something out. Can’t work on it as much as I’d like in a day because of the wrist and hand getting a little tender. (Yup picture me holding my hand up in the scary b-movie claw that Mike forewarned about.)

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A Lion Painting WIP (finally)

It’s taken me awhile but yes I did indeed finally decide on the “awesomeness” size. I have only just barely begun … but I have begun and that’s usually the hardest part. The photo below helps give you a little context to exactly how little I have really got in. The board size is 24 x 40 and some of it on the left is not shown in the pic.

I think I should have tipped his head facing away a little more. The foreshortened muzzle makes his eye look too big. .

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