Friday, March 7, 2014

Playing With The Big Cats

While in Zambia last year we went to Mukuni Big 5, an educational animal foundation. This is when I got to walk with cheetahs and play with lion cubs. I used the same picture for a pastel painting last year, this year I did it a little larger and in oil. It look several days waiting for the dark's to dry before adding the lights. Then there was the last detail work, the little tiny bits of black fur mixed in with the beige, burnt sienna and white. Too much and I had to wait for it to dry to cover it over a little with the lights.

I found that my rigger brush, which I had bought for watercolors works beautifully to make those little lines for the fur details. Of course it is either a 00 - or - 000, but it does have long hairs so it can hold a fair amount of paint, enough to get more than one stroke. The water based oils are working nicely, I think the month of doing a lot of it quickly helped me gain some confidence back for the feel of the brush. Oils have a different feel than acrylics and watercolors. I can thin the oils down with water or medium so that they give me lovely soft effects. I plan to continue working in both oils and pastels, we shall see where it takes me.

The cheetah, well, I have several other pictures, along with some of those lion cubs and of course elephants. There is something magical about Africa and the wildlife there. I will just have to keep capturing those memories till I can return.

Oil on canvas stained with coffee, 8X10 

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