Tuesday, August 18, 2015

From a Wiped Painting to a Buffalo Sketch

8" x 10" Oil on Panel
Saturday I went to a place west of Springville to paint. Halfway through the painting I realized this was one of those few times when the painting was out of control and couldn't be corrected. When this sort of thing happens, the best - indeed the ONLY - thing to do is clean all the paint off of the panel and start over. Discouraged, instead of beginning again I decided to move on.

Wiped Panel
After wiping the painting I drove through Lake Shore - an area of ranches, farms, hay fields and scattered residences. I was on my way to West Mountain but became distracted when I drove past a herd of buffalo.

One of the photos I took of the buffalo herd.
Buffalo? Who put the buffalo here?

I pulled the car over, got the camera out and started snapping photos of buffalo. While doing that, I remembered the little piles of paint still on my palette and the freshly wiped panel from earlier. Why not try to do a study of buffalo in oil paint?

Another one of the buffalo photos.
It's a good thing my pochade setup is so portable. As the buffalo herd roamed around the field they were in, I had to move up and down my side of the fence to keep up with them as I painted. The result is shown at the top of this post. Oil studies of live animals is something I haven't tried before. The sketch was kind of quick, but I'm happy with it. Progress can't be made unless you make a start.


David King said...

Very cool James! I didn't know there was a buffalo ranch out there. Painting animals from life is definitely a challenge, you'll pulled it off quite well. I tried a cow from life once, not nearly as successful.

James Gunter said...

Thanks David. I plan to go back and paint some buffalo studies again. Maybe do some pencil sketches also.