Issuing the Call

Issuing the Call
Issuing the Call

Slide Show

Art Prints

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Back towards the end of may I received an email from a gentleman about asking me if I would be willing to donate a print, of the painting "Homeward Bound".  He wanted to donate it to a charity auction for a little boy of three, named Reiss Timothy with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL).  After checking him out and making sure the charity auction was lagitamit.  I talk to my wife about it  Then after some pondering I decided that an original would be far more appropriate.  This is how this whole painting got started.
After some back and forth emails, Roger call me I told him I wasn't going to donate a print.  I waited just long enough to hear the disappointment in his voice.  That's when I told him, I'm going to donate an original.  Needless to say he was very excited about this.  Then I told him the rest.  After discussing this with my wife we agreed to not only donate the original but also for one year anyone who bought a print of the original painting.  I would donate 50% of the proceeds to the family too.  On the phone I could tell that this touched Roger deeply.

At first I was thinking of doing a painting a little larger then what I have been painting.  I've been doing paintings on board any where between 8x10 and 16x20.  I spent some time looking around my various art stores looking what they had in pre-gessoed boards but I wasn't happy with what I found.  So I started looking at canvas.  Finally I settled on a 18x24 canvas.  But when I brought it back to the studio it just didn't look all that impressive, even after i did the initial layout on it.  I did have these three canvas sitting in the corner of my studio but they were much bigger then I felt comfortable working on.  They were 30x40 inches.  But they just kept nagging at me to go for it.  So I did.  I took the 18x24 off my easel and made room for the much larger canvas and started over.
Pencil rough in.  Notice the Horizontal and Vertical Golden Mean

Pen and Ink stage

  • Roughing in and Inking
Once I roughed in the drawing, by finding the various horizontal and vertical Golden Mean.  Then I laid in the Pen and Ink of the main subjects of the painting.  That being the Elk, Wolf, Grouse, dead trees and large rocks.  Everything else I roughed in with pencil.  Then I gave it three coats of workable fixative to protect the drawing part from the painting part.

Under painting with a bit of green added

  • Under Painting
The next stage is the under painting.  This part is done very quickly.  First with a rag, I scrub in one color mixture over the whole canvas.  The color is a mixture of Burnt Seinna and Indian Yellow. Then using a clean bristle brush I get it wet in Mineral Spirits, that I use as a thinner, and remove the highlights of the painting.  Next I enhance my dark's by using Burnt Umber, then more so by using Ultra Marine Blue Deep. Then finishing the under painting with a thin layer of green where the grass will be to help set up the over all contrast of the painting.

Sky done and working on the Mountain

  • Top Down Back to Front
After the under painting and when actually start painting I like to paint from the top of the canvas to the bottom and from the back to the front.  So here I started with the sky.  Which I just rough in with a very light color of blue and lots of white.  Keeping the blue color cool and letting the under painting color wear through over on the right hand side.  Next I paint in the clouds and once I'm through with fiddling with them I move onto the mountain.

Mountain is done and I'm working on the Trees and the Wolf

  • Mid Ground
One important thing to remember is that the mountain is there to support and back up the Elk.  The Elk will be an Orange color so the Mountain needs to be a Blue color, because blue is the opossite of Orange on the color wheel.  Also the Elk will be warm and very Chromatic, so the Mountain needs to be cool and dull.  If I didn't do this with the mountain, none of the things I wanted the Elk to be would show up.  Also I need to know what areas of the Elk are going to be in direct sunlight and what areas in shadows.  So I adjust the Mountain accordingly so.  For example the Neck of the Elk is in full sunlight, so the Mountain just to the right needs to be dark.  But the belly of the Elk is both dark and in shadow so the mountain at that spot must be lighter.  Also the legs of the Elk will be darker so the mountain and then the trees need to be lighter.  But with the trees they need to be a little darker then the mountain to help create the illusion of disance and depth.  As the trees get closer they need to get darker and more green and less blue.  It is all a carefully coriegraphed dance of Hues, Tones, Chroma and color Tempratures.

Done and signed

  • Fore Ground
Elk, Wolf and Grouse.  This is where it is all happening. This is where the narrative of the painting is created and presented to the viewer.  But remember, without the Mid Ground supporting, this part of the painting wouldn't be all that grand.  First i painted in the wolf then carefully wrapped the trees and the shadows around him.  So that we have an animal lurking in the shadows of both the trees and our imaginations.  To some (mostly non-ranchers) the Wolf is a misunderstood creature.  To others it is just a killer, a loathsome animal.  For this painting it is the unanswered question and the cause of contention.  Next I painted in the Elk.  For me personally the Elk represents what is noble, grand and good in life. Honesty, integrity and hard work.  It represents the good in all of us.  After painting in these two animals I turned my attention to the dead trees and then the grass.  The grass was the tricky bit.  I had to keep the shadowed parts cool and dull but not too flat.  Where as the bright warm sunlit area of the grass had to be just that, warm bright and sunny, but not so much as to take away from the Elk.  Next I painted in the various rocks.  Then I painted in the grouse.  For me the grouse represents home and mothers.  Protecting their young from the dangers of the world.  Once all these various elements were painted in I finished by adding a bit more color.  By adding in a few wildflowers.

Here is the finished scan

This is the Flyer for the Auction