Driving through Yellowstone, one is almost guaranteed to see several kinds of large mammals. I've seen Grizzly Bears, Black Bears, Bison and Elk all from the road. On one occasion I was fortunate enough to snap a few pictures of Big-Horn Sheep, which are imposing and impressive in many ways. These creatures have a large set of horns made for running into things. Plenty of reason to keep your distance. Luckily we saw them from the car about 100 feet off the road.
One of the challenges you face in painting Wildlife and Landscape in the West, is communicating colors in interesting ways. For this painting I chose to increase the vibrancy of the colors from the photo. The source colors for this composition were rather dull, but lent themselves to complementary & split-complementary color schemes.
Yellow and violet are complements on the color wheel and on either side of yellow are green and orange. Adjacent to violet are red-violet and blue-violets. These opposing colors harmonize really well with each other helped me by placing constraints on my color choice. Using a color scheme and limiting one's choices like this is analogous to composing music in a particular key or selecting certain chords to create the effect. Cool purples, blues and greens tend to recede in this painting while warmer oranges and yellows provide contrast and move forward visually.
I once again used my preferred medium of Gamblin Fast-Matte Oil to paint this picture. After about three days of drying I will protect the work with Krylon UV-blocking Gloss varnish, which is easily removed.
Prints of this work are available Here.
J0hn Hunter Speier
Recent work, and explorations of techniques, aesthetics and poetics.