Polar bear #2

Polar bear

Polar bear

Second effort on the polar bear.  I’m not totally happy with the shadow underneath, but it looks better in the real thing than in the photo.  I think it just needs to be softened a bit.  Sometimes the photos, while not totally accurate, give me hints on how to improve whatever I am working on.  I am sticking to an impressionistic style for the time being due to my inability to paint the detail work thus far.  I’m not unhappy with the way the animals are turning out, but I would like to be able to do more detail work.  I’ll probably paint one more time on this before I call it quits, mostly refining the darker, shaded areas.

The flowers have decided it must be spring, even if the calendar says not quite yet.  My daffodils on the hillside next to my garage parking area started to bloom over the weekend.  I hope the weather cools off at least slightly.  Daffodils prefer it to be cooler rather than warmer and the blooms last longer if it stays below 60.  70’s are too warm and the flowers will fade quickly.

Polar bear painting

Polar bear

Polar bear

Moving back to the animal paintings, here is the preliminary acrylic  of a polar bear.  I’ve modified an old zoo photo slightly for the composition, but I’m not quite satisfied yet.  I think I am going to enlarge the ice floe some so it is more substantial under him, even though this is very close to the photo layout.  He looks too big for the ice area.  That is one nice feature of acrylics versus watercolors – larger changes can be made more easily.  That is a good thing for me.  It will be interesting to explore the surface texture of the water, sky and ice, as well as the actual bear itself.

Spring is springing around here.  Temperatures will be in the 60’s for the next week or two.  While I appreciate the warmer weather, I am always concerned that the trees and shrubs will come out too far too early and get seriously burnt by what would be a normally dated frost.  I almost lost my wonderful Japanese maple that way one year.  I saved it but it took several years not to look pitiful.  I look forward to hearing the peepers soon too.  That means spring to me.