Wildlife Art by: Laura Curtin

Why did I pick Stripes?

I love painting animals. They are all so unique and beautiful. I get and idea in my mind and it fills up my head until I have a painting. I will search photo purchase sites and purchase just the right line in the animal, just the right type of background, every angle meets my approval. I know what the painting looks like in my head I only have to get it on canvas. So it really should come as no surprise to me when I’m shaking my head back and forth saying to myself, “Why did I pick another animal with stripes?”

In this Tiger painting I have a white and gray cat with black stripes. I rarely paint with anything but oils so I have a problem with wet paint and putting different colors next to each other to make fur stripes. I laid in all the black stripes first with linseed oil being careful to follow my drawing. I let the paint set up a bit so it would be a little more stable when I added the whites and gray of the rest of the fur. Too much brush work between stripes and all I have is a big mess and I’ve lost the drawing besides. I think that’s why I go crazy painting stripes.

I use a brush I buy from a portrait workshop teacher to get the feeling of fur right from the start. He calls these Chinese hair brushes and I’ve never been able to find them except from him. I have many, many of these, (someday we will talk about my brush addiction), and find if one of them isn’t working I can get another one out and try that one.

Original Artwork by: Laura CurtinBrushes for my Wildlife Painting “Torrit the Tiger” by: Wildlife Art by: Laura Curtin

Here you can see the black stripes are on and I am adding the white and gray over the stripes to make the fur.

Original Artwork by: Laura Curtin“Torrit the Tiger” Progression 8 by: Wildlife Art by: Laura Curtin

I was really happy with this so far. I had the face on and the eyes somehow appeared to have color even though they were black and gray. I could see from my photo that the stripes fit the muscles of the cat and I had good shadows on the side. The whisker area is always a little problematic for me, I don’t want it to look like spots painted on but I was going to give myself time to work on that.

If you have a special technique for painting stripes or spots on animals please post here in the comment section or send me to your blog or website so I can have a new take on what is probably a common problem for artists.

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