Monday, October 17, 2011

Trapper Keeper by David

Posted by: Dave

So I thought I would give everyone an update on my trapper painting. I posted the preliminary drawing in an earlier post, and later designed a small color study (seen above). These small painted studies, done from imagination, allow me to set up the dominant color harmonies and masses of light and dark in the painting. Scott Waddell has a great webisode about this on his blog , which has way better special effects than my blog. The last video I made was simply stop motion GI JOEs being blown up with firecrackers so I am a bit behind on video technology and editing. However, my movie did have amazing cinematography. I'll do some videos at some point.
After I felt fairly satisfied with the color studies, I transferred my drawings to canvas using graphite. Some artists will reinforce this with ink, though I did not for my painting. I massed in the areas of shadow to strengthen the lights and darks, while paying some attention to edge quality. I was able to see some of the graphite still through the dry brush, which allowed for me to hold on to my drawing as I had more beers throughout the day.

I began to mass in large areas of color based on my color study (the ebauche). I used a very thin consistency of paint, which allows for the paint to move easily across the surface, while deadening (graying) the colors. The big statement is now complete. I would warn people not to lay in the ebauche too thickly and hard edged, as you will end up with what looks like a Disney character from the 80’s and lose any sense of atmosphere. In addition, every time you go too thick in the beginning, a baby unicorn loses their horn and dies. Happy?
The colors I am using for this piece are fairly limited. Yellow Ochre Pale, Ivory Black, Lead White, Burnt Sienna, Raw Umber, and Vermillion. This is the first time I have used Vermillion in a painting, but so far I like it as a substitute for Cadmium Red. The only drawback is that it contains mercury and although I love heavy metal, this particular one causes even more brain damage than Pantera. (did you see that pun I made)


  1. Looking good Kate!
    I also like how you take a photo of it upside down on your easel ;) I'm hopping that the first person to spot this wins a prize?

  2. This is a Dave painting, can't you tell from its manliness.

  3. I was wondering about that... but I remember that the first post about this painting was by Kate so I was not sure who was painting it ;)

  4. Christopher DaltonOctober 19, 2011 at 5:41 PM

    What's the best way to go about inking in the transfered drawing? Also, do feel then that it was the rise of impressionism that led to the exstinction of the unicorns?

  5. I have seen some people use a micron .005 pen and a quill pen with india ink. As far as your second question, the answer is yes. In addition, unicorns, with their tasty flesh, were also hunted down in great numbers for food. Some speculate that they may begin farm raising unicorns again like they did the mighty bison.

  6. Christopher DaltonOctober 22, 2011 at 2:27 PM

    ha ha... thanks, I'll have to give it a go sometime.