Untamed Land

Untamed Land
Untamed Land

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Cougar Canyon

Years ago I felt that I had fallen into a hopeless rut with my acrylic painting. One day while I was in the public library I noticed an old issue of The Artists magazine. The cover article was titled, Capturing Realism in Oils.
This article basically laid out the technique and formulas that the Renaissance master Titian used. I was so impressed by this that I went home and threw away my acrylics, then bought all the materials that Titian used.
Of course I got in way over my head when I tried to paint but I persisted in trying to learn to paint like the great masters, but wildlife, not people. The quality of my work really suffered at first, but gradually things came together. Years later I came to realize that any effect I could achieve with oils, I could replicate with acrylics, only much faster and without the nasty smells.
Gradually I developed my own mixed up techniques in acrylics, but I still feel like I am in a rut. With this painting I decided to go back to the Renaissance technique of painting first in black and white, and then applying color with thin glazes. I only painted the background rocks like that, but I should have done the cougar in black and white as well.

What I wanted to do is create a mysterious mood of atmosphere with brooding shadows. Here you can see that I overdid it with the glazes. I know what image I have in my head, I just dont quite know how to get it onto the painting.
In order to get a balanced composition, I decided that the painting needed more rocks in front.
I just keep developing the painting, hoping to make it look good.
A close up look at the cougar
At some point I had to decide that the painting is finished. Cougar Canyon, 11x14". Now maybe I'll torture myself with the Black Bear painting again.

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