Posts Tagged ‘cowboys’
||This is my good friend Dustin Roush from Gillette, Wyoming. Dustin posed for Leigh and I in July of 2006 at the DC Bar Guest Ranch, my friend’s ranch in Pinedale, Wyoming. Dustin and his family operate a very large beef cattle ranch in Gillette. Dustin was completing “guide school” classes at the time so he can work as a licensed hunting guide in the state of Wyoming. Dustin is a “master” with a lasso. He was giving lessons to all the other students. What a great kid he is as well as a pure gentleman. Here is the first day’s work. This is a rough base coat.
Here is day two. I have added more detail to Dustin’s face, Stetson, shirt and hands. I was able to lay in the base coat for the upper part of his jeans.
This is a close-up of that area.
This is day three. I finished the base coat for his jeans and boots.
On day four I finished detailing his jeans and boots. I have also roughed in his lasso and the dirt at his feet.
This is a close-up of that area.
This is day five. I have pretty much finished up all of the details on Dustin and laid in a rough base for the barn wall in the background.
Here is the final. If you look, you will see the final details that I added to barn wall and the dirt.
This piece is traditional oils on my Ampersand “Gesso Claybord.” The size is 14″ x 24.
Dustin’s grandmother bought the painting for a wedding gift for Dustin and his fiancée.
Thanks for riding along. Stay tuned, there are many more of my works in progress to come.
||This piece is titled Spirit, Horse, Hunter. My model’s name is Richard Ashburn. He is a guide from Jackson Hole, Wyoming. He actually has lived the life of an actual mountain man for over thirty years.
The piece is traditional oils on the Ampersand Gessobord Masonite. The size is 18″ x 24″. The reference photograph used was taken by my wife, Leigh. It was taken at the Mountain Man Rendezvous in July 2006, Pinedale, Wyoming.
Here is version one.
This is version two. In Richard’s hand is his custom made English Pattern Henry rifle built for him by Steve Hill. To read more about Steve Hill, Larry Walker and their outstanding works of art, check this link: http://web.mac.com/j.henry.artificers/
This is version three. There was still a lot of detailing to be done, especially on his left chest, left arm, left hand and left knee area. BTW, I have never seen so much fringe on a person!
On version four, I have added a lot more fine detail all over Richard, his rifle and clothing. I also painted in the stretched beaver pelt at his feet.
Here is the final.
To see some of the detailed areas, here are three close-up photographs.
Thanks for riding along. Stay tuned, there are many more of my works in progress to come.
||Sheldon Hanson of Cody, Wyoming, The Sentinel of Southfork, is of one of Denny’s best friends and hunting buddy. Sheldon lives in the famous valley where the Southfork of the Shoshone River flows. The river flows north to join the Northfork and forms the main branch of the Shoshone River that flows through Cody. This beautiful valley was used as a pathway by many famous mountain men including John Colter and Jeremiah Johnson to conduct their fur trade business. The valley was the main route north to Montana from the Jackson Hole area.
All that know Sheldon think that this great man stands guard over this beautiful Southfork Valley as if it were his own for each and everyone to enjoy!
Denny had Sheldon pose in an old, full length, buffalo skin robe. He was wearing a full coyote skin cap while holding his favorite flintlock rifle.
Denny has painted Sheldon on two other occasions. Please look for the paintings titled the “Mountain Man Of Castle Rock” and “Over The Great Divide” here within this website.
This painting is traditional oils on Museum-grade Ampersand, Gessobord Masonite.
This piece will be included in the “Fall Harvest Show” at the Plainsmen Galley in Clearwater, FL. For more information call 1-888-779-2240.
Signed/numbered prints available. Edition of 150.
Original has been sold.
Measures: 11″ x 14″
||This is my third painting of my good friend, Sheldon Hanson. It is traditional oils on Ampersand Gessobord. The overall size is 11″ x 14″. I painted in the background awhile back to make sure that it was dry. This is day one of my work in progress. Here I painted in the base coat for his coyote skin cap.
I had Sheldon pose in an old, full length, buffalo skin robe. He was wearing a full coyote skin cap while holding his favorite flintlock rifle.
Here is day two. I have added more detail to Sheldon’s coyote skin cap. I will add some more detail after that paint dries. I have roughed in his face and beard. There is still quite a bit of detail to be added here once the base coat sets up over night.
This is day three. I added a little more base coat to Sheldon’s beard. After it dries, I will start to paint in the actual hairs. I roughed in the collar on his buffalo skin coat and his leather fringed shirt. The dark red piece of cloth with the brass ring is what holds the eagle feather that is lying on his left shoulder.
On day four, I added a little more hair to Sheldon’s beard. I still have some more to paint once it dries. I roughed in his flintlock rifle and his hand. Once the paint sets up, I can finish detailing both. I also roughed in part of his coyote skin cap that is lying on his left shoulder.
Here is the final. If you look, you will see the final details that I added to his face if you compare it to version four.
Thanks for riding along. Stay tuned, there are many more of my work-in-progresses to come.
||This is bronze artist extraordinaire, Don Hershberger. Don is 55 years old when I painted him in 2008. He lives in nearby, Clark, Wyoming. Don has lived the lived of a cowboy here in Wyoming for many, many years but he has always found the time to create. His bronze work consists of cowboys, horses, Native Americans and wild animals from the area. One other interesting fact about Don is that he is a cowboy preacher.
Here is day one. I posed Don on his ranch in Clark. He is holding his favorite lasso, leaning against his classic buck rail fence. The piece is traditional oils on Ampersand, Gessobord Masonite. The overall size is 18″ x 24″.
Here is a close-up of his face.
Here is day two’s work. The hand and shirt are still pretty rough. These are two items that I have to let set up over night then work all the detail on top the next day.
I spent most of the day detailing Don’s shirt and hand and I am still not quite done. There is still quite a bit of detailing to do once the paint dries more, stitches, highlights and so on.
Day four. I have roughed in his right leg, chaps and his boot.
I have had many people ask why I paint the subject first. I do find it is much easier for me to do it this way. Is this normal? I bet it is probably not. Most artists probably work the other way around and leave a hole for the subject. I am not normal and I don’t do things the way most do. I did try this before and I ended up putting marks in that background and had to redo a lot of it. I paint pretty fast, so almost all of my oil paint is still pretty wet as I work. I am very inpatient and won’t wait for paint to dry before continuing on. My main concern is the subject. I am a portrait artist, not much of a landscape artist. I want the subject just right and perfect first and foremost before doing that background. By putting in the background last also helps me to get the right contrast and detail I want in that background. I might go lighter, darker, more contrast then my reference photograph. Having the subject done first, helps me to make the right call.
Here I roughed in his left leg and chaps. I then detailed his chaps on his right leg and his boot. The background is next.
I have got the background started. It is still pretty rough, same with the wood rail. I should be able to smooth all that out with a dry brush the next day and finish all the detail in the wood. One thing that I forgot to mention was that we photographed Don just after the sun went behind the famous Bear Tooth Mountains behind us. It just gave the sky a slight pink hue and the mountains in the background such a great blue color. If everything goes well, I should have the background and the buck rail fence roughed in next.
I have the background all roughed in. Now you can see why his foot was at an odd angle. Each section of the buck rail fence has its own brace. That is what Don’s foot is resting on. I detailed Don’s chaps on his left leg. There is still quite a bit of detail on the wood. It will also take a while to smooth all the edges on Don. No matter how careful you are, you still get a little paint on him where the background bumps up to him. For me, it is still easier painting the subject first. Lasso and detailing are next.
Here is the final. The lasso actually took me two days to complete. I had to rough in the texture, let it set up over night and I finished detailing it the second day. I added more detail to the buck rail and several other places as well.
Here are some close ups.
Thanks for riding along. Stay tuned, there are many more of my works in progress to come.
||This is my good friend, Gordon Bond of Land Of Lakes, Florida. Shiloh Jasper Green as he calls himself, is a member of S.A.S.S aka the Single Action Shooting Society that is a national group who are quick draw artists and shooting competitors.
Here is day one. This is a 16″ x 20″ portrait with the background roughed in. I am painting with traditional oils. This painting is on museum-grade Masonite made by Ampersand. It has a white, textured clay surface and covered with white gesso.
Here is day two. I had managed to get Gordon’s face all roughed in.
Here is a close up of Gordon’s face after smoothing his facial tones with a dry brush. My wife Leigh took the reference photograph that I used to paint from. If you closely at Gordon’s right eye, you will clearly see the beautiful orange sunset, trees and sky reflected there.
Day three. I have roughed in the base coat for Gordon’s bandana and metal star concho.
Here is day four. You can see that I have painted in my basecoat for the shirt and vest.
Day five. I laid down what are the heavy shadow areas of the shirt and vest. I also roughed in the pouch of Gordon’s Levi Garrett chewing tobacco sticking out of his vest pocket.
On day six I have finished all the details on the shirt and vest. I have painted in Gordon’s S.A.S.S. badge that all members wear. Each member has one that is exclusive. Also, each member has their own number. If you look on one of the close-ups below, you can see clearly that Gordon’s member number is 16357. Also you will notice that in the reflection, you will see the blue sky reflecting on the top of the metal and the bright yellow of the fall grass at his feet reflecting on the bottom part of his badge.
On day seven I finished up the portrait by painting in the chrome link chain that has Gordon’s watch on one end in his pocket and the metal, enameled S.A.S.S. logo on the other end. If you look, you will see the end of a special stick in his vest pocket. This is used to remove the spent primers of his Navy Colt Revolver that he uses for his competition shoots.
Here are three close-ups.
Gordon was so pleased with my effort that he asked to have his picture taken with the piece. You can see, even in real life, his face has so much character… I had to add nothing.
I want to thank Gordon once again for posing for me and becoming one of my good friends. As he signs all his emails to me, Pards for life!!
Thanks for looking! Stay tuned, there are many more of my works in progress to come.
||OK children, gather around, it’s time for a history lesson!
As you look out our front window here on the Lower South Fork of the Shoshone River, which faces southwest, you see the famous landmark, called Castle Rock about three miles away. It juts up from the valley floor and stands all by itself. It rises several hundred above the floor of the valley. Castle Rock actually climbs to 6,010 feet above sea level. Here at the ranch we are about 5300 feet above sea level to give you an idea how high it is.
As the Castle Rock sign says:
“John Colter, famed among the famous breed of Mountain Men, passed this landmark late in the fall of 1807 while on business for the fur trader Manual Lisa. Searching for Indians in order to conduct trade, he also hunted salt caves reputedly located near the headwaters of this stream then known as the stinking water.”
On his journey, Colter not only discovered this later named Shoshone River but he also became the first recorded white man to visit the upper Wind River, Jackson’s Hole and Yellowstone Park. His lonely trek, compounding the normal dangers of savage wilderness by mid winter passage of a broad and lofty mountain range, lives in history and legend an epic of fortitudinous exploration.”
There is a lot of other history that is based around this famous landmark. To this day, you can still see the original “teepee rings” around the base.
Leigh and I had the extreme pleasure of meeting a man, well known and well loved by many here in Cody. His name is Sheldon Hanson. He is 70 years of age when I painted him. Mr. Hanson has the notoriety of leading the annual Cody 4th of July Parade portraying himself as a mountain man. Sheldon actually lives right across the river from Castle Rock. We made the arrangements to do a photo shoot with him. Leigh shot almost 100 photographs of him with and without his horse, Junior.
This is version one of my painting of him and Junior. As this piece progresses, you will see the famous Castle Rock appear just behind his horse. It was snowing up in the mountain range behind Castle Rock that day. I will be painting that and the rest of the background last, as usual. This piece has a lot of detail so it will take a while to complete. Most of my pieces take roughly 50-60 hours to complete. This will surely take a lot longer to finish. Since I have a new hunting buddy, it might even take longer than usual!! What a face and what character he is!
This is an traditional oils on 1/8″ thick museum-grade Masonite board. The Masonite is gesso-covered board called “Gessobord” made by Ampersand. The overall size of this painting is 24″ x 18″.
Here is version two along with a close-up of Sheldon’s face and Junior’s head.
This is version 3.
Version 4. Sheldon came to my studio this day for his first look-see and he loved what he saw. I am happy too with the way it is going so far.
Here is version five.
This is version six. You will probably not see a big difference in version six from version five but I detailed his flintlock rifle, saddle, axe and the horse’s back end. Sheldon and his horse are pretty much complete. A few little things to touch up once the paint dries in those areas. The background is coming next.
Here is version seven. You can now see the famous Castle Rock in the background. You might be able to see that it snowing in the mountains behind Sheldon that day.
Version eight. I roughed in the grass, dirt and stones. The next day I will still go in and smooth the background out and finally sign it.
Here are three close-ups to see some of the details up-close and personal.
Thanks for riding along. Stay tuned. There are many more of my works-in-progress to come.
||This is someone else who quickly became a good friend that I met early in 2008. His name is Gene Hartung. Gene lives right across the Buffalo Bill Dam from us in Cody, Wyoming. My wife, Leigh ran into him in downtown Cody. Leigh knows exactly the kind of faces I am constantly on the lookout for. She immediately asked him if he would pose for me. He told her how my mentor, James Bama, had asked him that very same question several years earlier. Gene agreed to pose for Bama, but what a shame that Bama never painted him! His loss was my gain.
During a driving snow storm in 2008, we did my photo shoot at his log home. I actually posed him in the exact same clothes Bama did, except for a different shirt.
Gene had a favorite saddle as a young cowboy. It had completely worn out and was long gone by then. Since the Bama shoot, Gene had taken up saddle making. He wanted to make an exact copy of his own saddle, and that he set out to do. He had never made a saddle before. Working totally from memory, he actually made four saddles until he was happy with the forth one. He sold the other three saddles, one actually went to a buyer in England. He was so proud of his saddle. I had to pose him with it. What a thing of beauty!!
Here is one of my other photographs of Gene. As you can see, the wind was blowing hard and it was sure putting down the snow.
This is day one of my painting. It is a traditional oil painting on 1/8″ thick museum-grade Masonite board. The Masonite is gesso-covered board called Gessobord made by Ampersand. The overall size of this painting is 18″ x 24″. Here I applied the base coats on Gene’s face, bone necklace and his Stetson. A little side note on Gene’s black Stetson, anyone that knows the Stetson brand cowboy hats knows that they have a grade. It is rated in Xs. Most Stetsons you see for sale are usually in the 2X, 3X range which cost around $150-$300 and are made from tanned beaver hide. Years before, Gene, who used to raise wolves, traded for this 6X Stetson for one of his wolf pups! This grand old Stetson is worth $700!
This is the second day’s work. I have Gene’s face, bone necklace and Stetson pretty much detailed. There will be a little more detailing on his face once it dries. I also managed to get his leather vest and shirt roughed in.
On this day’s work, Gene and his wife, Flo, stopped by for their first look. They loved what they saw. It means a lot when you receive great feedback from your subject! Shown here, I detailed his vest and shirt. I roughed in his gun belt and his beautiful belt buckle. The belt buckle had fantastic details to reproduce! It is a Wyoming Centennial belt buckle and very collectible. It is a little hard to see but it has a beautiful covered wagon on it. It is trimmed in gold, silver and copper. You can also see I started roughing in Gene’s saddle. The next areas of interest to complete will be to finish his saddle along with his chaps, jeans and his stainless Ruger Vaqero Colt .45.
In this version, I realized my own image was in this painting. As I was painting the big, chrome snap on Gene’s chaps pocket I noticed that I was clearly reflected there taking his photograph. It’s funny, I just paint what I see! You might be able to see it in one of the close-ups below. I pretty much finished what I had anticipated, plus his left gloved hand.
I wanted do add something here that I usually don’t do with my other work-in-progresses. I always post my WIPs on a large art site I belong to as I am actually creating these painting. They have an art discussion board where many other artists come in and leave comments and ask me questions as I paint. I have a dear fellow artist who drops by occasionally to comment. His name is Jerrie Glasper from Jackson, Mississippi. This day he had a few excellent questions that I took the time to answer. Maybe it will shed some light on the hows and whys of what I do.
Here are Jerrie’s questions:
There is no rhyme or reason to the question of why I painted Gene from the knees up. I try to mix up my portraits. Head, half body, full body, it doesn’t matter what I do, I just want a good mix to my portraits. Of course, painting a head shot is a lot easier for me than painting the full body, plus there is the time factor. It always takes me a lot longer to produce a full figure. BTW, everyone asks me how long to do a painting. It usually takes in the neighborhood of fifty to sometimes over one hundred hours to complete. Watching the hours is probably the graphic artist in me. I like to know about what I make an hour when I paint. It usually averages at $100 an hour. Good? Bad? I don’t know, as far as the “fine art world” is concerned, I would think this about average for someone like me… unless you are Picasso! LOL! I am definitely not a Picasso or a Jim Bama!
As for the question of painting Gene with dark colors, all I can say is that Gene is wearing the colors of a native Wyoming cowboy. Many, many local men dress this way. When I get an opportunity to paint someone like Gene, I usually go to their home and meet them and we go through with what they are comfortable wearing and what are some of their favorite things. We both decide how Leigh or I will photograph them and if there will be a background painted in or not. Like I said in my first post, I decided to pose Gene in the same clothes that Bama was going to paint him. I thought it was so fitting to do so. What’s good for Bama is good for me! But, back to the dark clothing, I find it more of a challenge to paint these dark colors. It is harder to get the shadows and highlights on a dark object just right. I really have to watch things like local colors that create all the colored highlights being cast. For those who don’t know what local colors are, they are usually the highlights or colors being cast from an object next to one another. For example, if a subject is wearing a red bandana, it will usually cast a red reflection on the neck skin or a shirt. In this painting of Gene, I asked him to be photographed on a very overcast day, matter of fact it was snowing. There was no hard sunlight to give me hard shadows on his face. Matter of fact, the snow on the ground actually lit his face really well. The overcast day also caused some really great local colors on the back of his left leg, his shoulders and his Stetson.
Lastly, the key elements that go through my mind when I envision the end product are happening as I am posing my models while Leigh or I are shooting the photographs. But before I even show up for the shoot, I pretty much have in my head what I what. I can almost see it completed before I start the shoot. We usually shoot 75-100 shots and I will study those photographs for a couple of weeks before I start. I usually pull all of the photos that I like right off, place them in a folder in my MAC and let them cycle on my desktop for days, helping me to pick just the right one. The one that best shows the person as who and what they are is the winner. Like I said, the subject is the main thing in all my paintings, but whether the composition clicks is totally up to you and anyone that views my work.
I hope that I understood all your questions and answered them correctly Jerrie. Thanks for asking these questions. Great questions BTW! It gives me a chance to answer some questions that others might want to know but were afraid to ask. My time is pretty limited as of late, but these were worth answering.
Here is version five. It pretty much shows Gene finished. I like how his fancy Spanish bridle came out. All that left is to paint in the background and sign it. But first, there was one more thing to do. I usually have a title in my head before I start to paint. This time, I did not. The day Gene and Flo came over was the first time I met her. She is such a sweetheart and she was telling me as she hugged Gene that he was The Last Of The Real Cowboys! Flo had just titled the painting for me! I loved it!
Since I finished this painting, Gene revealed a little more about what he was wearing. He said that he had not only had made his own saddle, he made his vest, his pistol holster, his chaps and lastly his bone necklace. If you look closely, you will see hanging from the small center metal Concho on that necklace is a strand of horsehair. Gene has owned, many, many racehorses over his lifetime. His all-time favorite racehorse eventually died a few years back. This is a small piece from his beloved horse, “Red Eagle’s,” tail. What a tribute!
Here are three close-ups to show some of the details up-close and personal.
Thanks for riding along. Stay tuned. There are many more of my work-in-progresses to come.