Sunday, January 27, 2008

Deer Crossing WIP

I came across this reference photo and decided to paint a scene of it. I liked the distance of the mountains coupled with the dark contrasting oaks in morning light. I was about to paint it and then decided to try something new...add a deer crossing the road. We have lots of deer around here and so it only seemed natural to try and add one to a landscape painting.

Here you can see my initial sketch. Very simple lines of the treeline, road and the deer.I began with my sky colors and then the mountains base colors. I'll add the mountain shadows next. I've also added spots of sky color that will be behind the trees.
Now I put in my mountain shadows and at the same time fill in an area that is toweards the valley floor...fields etc...nothing exact, just suggestive work here.
I now begin adding my darks. This is various mixes of Ultramarine Blue, Cadmium Yellow and Alizarin Crimson.
It's time to put in thwe road and my mid greens. It's starting to come together now. I felt my deer looked a little low so I will move him up a bit before painting him in.This is how I will move my deer up. I first paint in the area under the deer to fill in that area.Now, I will scrub out the painted area that is still wet on the road where my new deer position will be. I use a small clean brush with turpentine to scrub the shape of the deer out. Wipe it off and soak up more of the now diluted paint until the area is clean.

I scrub out just enough of the wet paint to have a nice pretty dry area of canvas to paint in the new deer. I'm not the greatest wildlife painter so please excuse my deer. Maybe if I do a lot more deer I'll get them down better. I tried to keep good loose edges on my deer but I could have gone a little looser I think.

My favorite part of this painting is the nice contrast of the dark green oaks and the far side of the canyon mountains....nice!

And finally, the finished painting. I like it. It was fun adding some wildlife to this piece and really catching the distance of those mountains. I also like the very dark greens in the foreground which adds to the atmosphere of this painting. Trying to catch the light of the day is always a workout and there are a lot of painters who do it very well. It's always some thing to aspire to.


Ryan Evans said...

This one looked like fun Ron- like the deer!

Thanks for posting WIP always nice to see how others work


Ron Guthrie said...

Hi Ryan,
yep, this one was fun to do. I recently did a pen & ink drawing for a wine label and had to draw some sheep on there so trying the deer in paint wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. I didn't want him to have that painted on look so keeping the edges loose important. Always fun trying new things.

Syd and Earl "Cueball" McCutcheon said...

LOVE this painting! ,,,and your street scenes are very exciting! I can hardly wait to see more!

Ron Guthrie said...

Hi Syd,
Thanks for the comments. I like this one too and glad that deer worked out. I was going to do 3 but after getting one right I figured I'd quit while I was ahead! hahahaha. See ya soon!