Friday, July 22, 2011

Study for the Trapper

Posted by: Dave

I am starting a new piece depicting a trapper, and above is part of the unfinished study I am doing for it. I always do a number of drawings and small painted studies to better understand structure, color, and composition before I begin a more elaborate painting. The less you have to work out problems on the final piece, the better. This piece was inspired in part by the Russian academic paintings of the 19th century, such as Kramskoy, Repin, and Shishkin. Not only do I love their paint quality, but their subjects as well. It is amazing that Russia is still following in this painting tradition. My friend showed me this middle/high school in Russia. No work on the site is done by anyone over 17. The four links on the page will take you to their drawings, paintings, and compositional studies. They are training in preparation for the Repin Academy, one of the world's greatest institutes for art. I remember when I was in high school, all I was making was crappy pictures of Wu-Tang.

I also have been playing around a little bit with sponge brushes and pastel powder, as seen on the fur collar. Hard to control, but great for blocking in large masses.


  1. Great job!, thanks for the step x step photos.

  2. Could a drawing as detailed as this be used as an underdrawing or will it affect the paint and film? Also will you ever do a workshop in southern California?

    1. Usually I just do my drawing studies as a guide, rather than a surface to paint on. I transfer the most important elements of the drawing, such as contours and shadow shapes, to the final canvas. I really don't ever recommend drawing something out with lots of graphite as it may show through the paint layers.

      I actually am doing a workshop at Sadie Valerie's atelier next summer.

    2. Thanks David, looking forward to next summer!