I have been occupied for most of January working on two large oil paintings, the first of which I used reference from my recent safari to Botswana. We came across this scene first thing in the morning not far from our camp. Two handsome lion brothers had fed overnight and were resting beside a termite mound with just a touch of warm light from the sunrise caressing their faces. I began this painting with such enthusiasm as I had been quite moved by the scene and was keen to capture the light and shadows and the regal look of the lion and transfer these feelings to the canvas. Unfortunately the painting became a bit of a burden as I chose to use a fine canvas that I had in stock and had never painted on before. It was a huge lesson as I struggled to get the brushstrokes and finish that I am used to. It amounted to me having to paint it three times before I was satisfied. On my fourth attempt I got the background to where I was happy after a few poor decisions of colour and values combinations that didn't work. I also put it away at times so that I could look at it again with a fresh view and make adjustments. The downside to this was the time factor as the painting is for the annual Equine and Wildart Exhibition at the Old Post Office Gallery in Seymour which opens on the 1st March and I don't like being under a time restriction to complete a work. I have all year to prepare for this show so will pace myself correctly for the next one - a lesson learned!
"Sunrise" 18" x 24" Oil on canvas