Wildlife Art by: Laura Curtin

Cellphone Critic

I like to hold my paintings up to a mirror when I feel there is something off in the way the animal looks, like the eyes not looking in the same direction or the stripes not going around it’s body. I found I can see what was is bothering me that way but try holding a 30 x40 painting in the bathroom mirror a few times and I believe you can call yourself a dedicated artist trying to achieve perfection.

A few years ago my husband, Kevin bought me an iphone. Even the first ones had a great built in camera and he set me up with email capability. One day I was so happy with the way the painting was starting out I took a picture of it in the early stages and sent it to myself. Seeing the picture on my computer screen was a revelation. Somehow it was like holding it in the mirror. Every flaw that I was willing to see was right there. For starters the water here isn’t flat. I was also extremely happy at the things that worked. I could see the reflection in the water was going to work.

This is the first picture I took of a painting with my iphone. I had already put the tiger drawing on canvas and was figuring out the background. I rarely pencil on anything other than the animal itself.

Original Photography by: Laura Curtin
Torrit the Tiger Progression photo by: Wildlife Art by: Laura Curtin

This is the next day after blocking in the tiger. I was so excited about this painting. The day before I had been to the Art Warehouse here in Westminster buying the canvas. I had already decided I would paint a tiger in water and found a canvas that fit. When I was checking out the clerk gave me a tube of gray paint from the Gamblin art company and told me they create the paint each year from the pigments that end up in their air filtration system and then they sponsor a contest. The idea is to paint only with gray, white and black. I was so scared to try this, I always paint with color. I didn’t know if I could pull it off.

Original Artwork by: Laura Curtin
Torrit the Tiger Progression Photo 2 Wildlife Art by: Laura Curtin

Here is my pallet that day. I had no idea I would have so much fun. I was free of color. All I had to do is paint in tones, light, medium and dark.

Original Artwork by: Laura Curtin
Mixing colors for Torrit the Tiger Wildlife Art by: Laura Curtin

In the next few days I will post more pictures of this painting in progress. At the end of this series I will give away a small print from my Etsy shop of “Torrit the Tiger” to the first person that correctly guesses or figures out what painting won the Gamblin art contest this painting was entered.