I thought the best way to jump back into this was to photograph a painting in progressive steps. Coming up next month is the Collectors Covey Miniature show that I have been invited to participate in for the fifth year in a row. I will discuss the show in more detail the closer we get to the opening. I'll have two landscape paintings and this wildlife painting in the show.
Stage 1: Sketch and Beginning
You can see my roughed in 12" x 16" sketch. I want to convey the male buffalo's need to be left alone. I photographed this big dude in Lawton, Oklahoma where one of the largest herds of free-roaming buffaloes exist. He was not happy with my presence even though I was at least thirty yards away and his icy stare told me all I needed to know about invading his personal space.
I typically start a painting by painting in the shadow patterns, but for this one I decided to dive right into completing the head. I figured if I get this wrong the rest of the painting would be a big waste of time.
Close up detail of the head. I love the little spot of reflected blue light on top of his horn. It is not in my photograph, but I already know I am going to have a bright and sunny sky so the reflected light makes sense.
Step 2: Moving on
Next for the thick winter coat over the shoulders and back. This guy has not shed his winter coat yet so I paint it all the way down to his butt.
Step 3: The Finish
My apologies for not showing more steps, but I got into painting the landscape and forgot to stop and take pictures. I have placed the buffalo on a small patch of dirt which is typical for the ones I have observed. They love to sit on dirt, roll in dirt, have sex in dirt and basically life for a buffalo is always better with a little dirt.