Sunday, September 25, 2016

Just Glue Some Gears On It (and call it Steampunk)

Something fun for Sunday— a period-style video reminding makers to build Steampunk contraptions and attire that make sense.

The video is by the multitalented Reginald Pikedevant — Here's his introduction to himself.

If you're an email subscriber, you'll need to follow this link to the video on YouTube)
Thanks, Frank.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Using Gouache and Casein to Paint a Wolf

Over on Instagram, Suzypal asks, "How do you decide between casein or gouache?" Answer: You can use both together and use the advantages of each.

They're both similar in a lot of ways: opaque, matte, water media. The main difference is that casein dries to a more closed surface, meaning the dry paint doesn't reactivate when it's wet. Gouache can be reactivated.

Alaskan Wolf, gouache, 5 x 8 inches.

When I painted this Alaskan wolf in gouache yesterday, I used black and white casein for the background. Once I laid the background down, I didn't want it to change too much.

I chose gouache for the wolf because I wanted to be able to reactivate it. That was the only way to get the softness of the fur, especially in the shadows, like under the mouth and on the neck.

To do that softening, I re-wet a postage stamp size area with a flat brush dipped in pure water—really quick, no scrubbing! With a rewet surface, I could gently coax out softness with another brush or with my finger, or I could drop in a stroke that would blend into a blur.

(Use this link to view video on Facebook) Where I wanted fine details of fur in the lights and the halftones, I used gouache in a more dry-brush mode, and I used a few touches of light and dark watercolor pencils.
Expand your GurneyJourney Reach:
James Gurney on Instagram — Daily serving of color, light, and Dinotopia
My public Facebook page —Where you can see short videos that don't always appear on YouTube
Gurney on YouTube — Almost 200 free videos, fun and instructional.
Taxidermy by: Lynn Stewart
Event: SKB Workshop in Dubois, Wyoming / 5 days, 15 instructors, 150 students.
Gouache: Mostly HolbeinM. Graham , and Winsor Newton

Friday, September 23, 2016

Painting a Pronghorn in Gouache

Yesterday I painted a pronghorn in gouache for the one-hour Quick Draw event at the SKB Workshop.

If you receive my blog as an email, you may need to follow this link to watch  the video on YouTube because the email version doesn't support embedded videos.

More info about what I mention in the video:

Pronghorn expert: DeVere Burt, Cincinnati
Ancestral cheetah-like predators: "Did False Cheetahs Give Pronghorns a Need for Speed?"
Taxidermy by: Lynn Stewart
Event: SKB Workshop in Dubois, Wyoming / 5 days, 15 instructors, 150 students.
Gouache: Mostly Holbein, M. Graham , and Winsor & Newton

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Painting at the Whiskey Basin

A small group came with me out to the Whiskey Basin to paint the fall color along Torrey Creek. I could only get a few video snapshots for you because I was teaching, too and I forgot my main camera bag.

I did have the new diffuser with me and it stood up to some pretty strong wind. I'll show you how to make one of those in a future video.

Here's the painting in casein, about 4 x 7 inches in my watercolor sketchbook. 

(Link to YouTube)

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Painting a Palomino

Palomino, casein, 5 x 8 inches 
I'm painting a palomino at a ranch near Dubois, Wyoming. 

I've got my easel at a standing height outside the corral. The horses are sedated, because before we get there, they have had their teeth floated and they get freeze branded

So they're sleepy and my palomino stands there long enough for me to get the lay-in. Here's how things look after about 10 minutes. I'm drawing totally with the brush—no time for pencil prelims.

Of course he moves out of the pose, but other horses take similar poses, and my palomino returns a couple of times to a semblance of where he started.

John Seerey-Lester sits behind us, helping young artists with advice about sketching from observation.

 Here's John's sketch of me (gray shirt at left) and the folks hanging around the horse corral.

The SKB Workshop is held every year in September. It's a gathering of artists in Dubois, Wyoming with a group of instructors and about 150 students swapping ideas about wildlife art and landscape painting. It's very economical for a week of instruction, food and lodging. If you want to join in though, you've got to sign up right when they announce it, because the 150 places sell out in just a day or two.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Painting a Bighorn Ram

This morning I painted this demo in black and white casein at the SKB Workshop in Dubois, Wyoming. I used a reddish brown water-soluble colored pencil for the lay-in, and that color peeks through here and there.

The taxidermy is by Lynn Stewart. It's nice to have an animal that holds still!

The SKB Workshop has about 150 students and 15 instructors this year, with meals together and lots of time to hang out and talk, talk painting gear, paint out on ranches and eat meals together.