Sunday, November 8, 2009

Oil Painting: Chicken Painting II

This is a 6" x 8" oil painting of a chicken I call Buff. Buff is eating with her friends. I began this painting in a more realistic manner. The way I have started paintings for years - decades. I started to video the painting as it was being made, just like the previous chicken painting I made of a silver-laced Wyanndotte. But the painting wasn't working. It lacked contrast and the shapes were not separating from each other. The shapes, themselves, had no life and seemed off somehow. Don't even ask me about the color - ugh! Dull, dull, dull, dull.

I turned off the video, cleaned out my brushes and walked away. I came back to it yesterday and remembered that I am not painting the old way anymore. Do I want realistic space - no. Do I want mottled and atmospheric color - no. Do I want an element of drawing in the piece - yes. Do I want a sense of the artist's hand - yes. So I decided to draw over the painting. In this manner I could use the color of the original painting but give it more contrast, more life, more character. Tonight I sat down quickly and repainted the color in the faces of the chickens and added some glazing to make the parts of the body "pop" a little more.

I like my finished piece much better. It is more alive, seems consistently handled across the whole painting and has a nice balance between well drawn areas and some areas with more abstracted shapes. I will probably sleep better tonight.


  1. I really like this one -- a lot. It feels like I could stick my hand in her nice fluffy feathers and pet her. Made me smile. Thanks.

  2. Thanks AletaMay. This painting was a slight struggle, so the comment is greatly appreciated. I have another chicken just about done. Hope to post on Friday.