So you think they are photos... do ya? - Val Warner Fine Art




I love to paint. I take photographs in order to get my reference material as light and animals stand still for no one! I`m classically trained like the old masters in the 19th century. Here are some of my favorite artists of all time with Adolphe-William Bouguereau (french, 1825-1905) topping the list...Marvin Mattelson Portrait Artist, Norman Rockwell, Robt. Bateman of Canada, John Singer Sargent, Ingres, Maxfield Parrish and....?,

Below is a photo journey to the completion of a painting. I use the best materials and enjoy making my own canvas/linen/wood painting surfaces though I`m finding I have less and less time for that.
First, we start with a happy Val

The process is set and established, now I just need to follow it - Val Warner Fine Art -Cougar, big cat, mountain lion, Val Warner art paintings Val Warner, process, how to paint, how to paint wildlife, how to paint in oil - So you think they are photos... do ya? - Val Warner Fine Art
The process is set and established, now I just need to follow it - Val Warner Fine Art


Next a gift from Spirit...a wonderful reference photo! This one was taken in Africa. Early morning and Abdul was worried about a jaguar getting to the orphaned elephants. I was walking and watching him gently guide Wendy up towards the enclosure when I saw the moment! Lifted my trusty Canon (always set on Auto!) and snapped the pic. Amazing. Thank you spirit.

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Amazing morning light - Val Warner Fine Art -Cougar, big cat, mountain lion, Val Warner art paintings Val Warner, process, how to paint, how to paint wildlife, how to paint in oil - So you think they are photos... do ya? - Val Warner Fine Art
Amazing morning light - Val Warner Fine Art
Next a gift from Spirit...a wonderful reference photo! This one was taken in Africa. Early morning and Abdul was worried about a jaguar getting to the orphaned elephants. I was walking and watching him gently guide Wendy up towards the enclosure when I saw the moment! Lifted my trusty Canon (always set on Auto!) and snapped the pic. Amazing. Thank you spirit.

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Studio Layout - Val Warner Fine Art -Cougar, big cat, mountain lion, Val Warner art paintings Val Warner, process, how to paint, how to paint wildlife, how to paint in oil - So you think they are photos... do ya? - Val Warner Fine Art
Studio Layout - Val Warner Fine Art
The next couple of shots show....be organized, methodical, set up, have your references close, be clean (ok, maybe just try to be clean), have plenty of paint and brushes...and get to work. I learned this method from my dear friend, Marvin Mattelson who is a wonderful portrait artist in NYC. He has several pieces hanging in the Smithsonian so I think he`s qualified to learn from, eh? And he is a great teacher
My paint is laid out in a value structured way giong from light to dark, warm to cool in little piles of pigment. So are the brushes. Large to small, dark to light in an innovative holder that keeps me organized! I do a monochromatic layin (I paint the first layer with only one color and white and black) to establish values. I don`t always do this but I did it on this one. I then start working in layers of thin oil paint adding color little bits at a time

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References clipped everywhere - Val Warner Fine Art -Cougar, big cat, mountain lion, Val Warner art paintings Val Warner, process, how to paint, how to paint wildlife, how to paint in oil - So you think they are photos... do ya? - Val Warner Fine Art
References clipped everywhere - Val Warner Fine Art
The colors are being applied with reference photos tacked everywhere

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Layer after Layer it comes alive and starts to look "real" - Val Warner Fine Art -Cougar, big cat, mountain lion, Val Warner art paintings Val Warner, process, how to paint, how to paint wildlife, how to paint in oil - So you think they are photos... do ya? - Val Warner Fine Art
Layer after Layer it comes alive and starts to look "real" - Val Warner Fine Art
Layer after layer, the image comes alive

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It Continues - Val Warner Fine Art -Cougar, big cat, mountain lion, Val Warner art paintings Val Warner, process, how to paint, how to paint wildlife, how to paint in oil - So you think they are photos... do ya? - Val Warner Fine Art
It Continues - Val Warner Fine Art
Layer after layer, the image comes alive

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A close up of Abde and the reference photo used - Val Warner Fine Art -Cougar, big cat, mountain lion, Val Warner art paintings Val Warner, process, how to paint, how to paint wildlife, how to paint in oil - So you think they are photos... do ya? - Val Warner Fine Art
A close up of Abde and the reference photo used - Val Warner Fine Art
Detail of Abde`s face. He is the keeper of the elephant orphans and such a sensitive young man

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The Process comes to life - Val Warner Fine Art -Cougar, big cat, mountain lion, Val Warner art paintings Val Warner, process, how to paint, how to paint wildlife, how to paint in oil - So you think they are photos... do ya? - Val Warner Fine Art
The Process comes to life - Val Warner Fine Art
The art of painting hairless or almost hairless flesh takes a real knack and a knowledge of which colors create a real and believable looking rendering of the subject. My class with Marvin Mattelson taught me this palette.

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Such Colors - Val Warner Fine Art -Cougar, big cat, mountain lion, Val Warner art paintings Val Warner, process, how to paint, how to paint wildlife, how to paint in oil - So you think they are photos... do ya? - Val Warner Fine Art
Such Colors - Val Warner Fine Art
The many subtle colors always amaze me.

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Finished Painting, "Devotion" - Val Warner Fine Art -Cougar, big cat, mountain lion, Val Warner art paintings Val Warner, process, how to paint, how to paint wildlife, how to paint in oil - So you think they are photos... do ya? - Val Warner Fine Art
Finished Painting, "Devotion" - Val Warner Fine Art
And.....Wha La! The finished painting. It needs to dry for several weeks before I give it the final varnish. If I painted thicker, it would have to dry for months. Don`t ya love oils!
This painting has won many awards, been in Southwest Art Magazine and the cover of a book for Artists for Conservation.
Thanks for reading...back to my easel


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