Beginning a Pointillism Painting Study of a Loon

We’ve lived on the lake for six years, after months of research and observation I’m feeling comfortable in my knowledge painting some of the summer inhabitants.  One of my favorite waterfowl is the Common Loon, these magnificent flashy birds rule the lake.  Slowly cruising the surface periodically diving for food, other ducks and birds cut […]

Phase Two of Squirrel Painting

This canvas is moving along nicely, the smooth acrylic gel under coat is a pleasure to work with.  I’ve began painting dots of color around the background of the squirrel figure.  The figure itself has been glazed with  mixture of  yellow ochre, titanium white, burnt umber with just a touch of ultramarine blue. Gail Niebrugge, […]

Start Mini Painting of a Squirrel

Another pesky 5″ x 7″ canvas resisting acrylic, but this time I prepared the surface with a coat of acrylic gel.  I like how this works, it makes the surface smoother facilitating detail and glazing.  Fun stuff!  This big Alaskan boy was a constant companion during my 2009 artist residency at the John Muir historic […]

Third Phase of “Moose Two” Painting

I’m gaining on this canvas, it is slowly being conquered.  Just a few tiny white flecks of white canvas are showing at this point.  The paint is beginning to adhere.  Interesting dilemma.  This brand of canvas is the same as the previous four I’ve painted and none of the others resisted acrylic paint like this […]

Next Step in “Moose Two” Mini Painting

This painting is a battle between me and and the paint adhering to this stubborn little canvas.  I’m diligently layering dots on top of dots, some adhere and others bead up and dry leaving zillions of little white spaces of canvas showing.  Grrrrr……  But, I’m gaining on it.  Slowly. Close-up detail of my war with […]

First Phase of Another Bull Moose Painting

This miniature canvas is smaller (5″ x 7″) than the last few I’ve painted in this “Big Alaskan Boys in Miniature” series, and unlike the other grounds, this one has been treated with something that is resisting acrylic paint.  Recently I’ve been applying a thin acrylic wash as a base, but maddeningly the paint is […]

Second Phase of Wolf Mini Painting

At this point in the painting I’ve layered multi-colored green dots around the wolf figure and began shaping the animal with different blends and values of yellow ochre, burnt umber, burnt sienna, napthol crimson, and titanium white.  This series of “Big Alaskan Boys in Miniature” is  enjoyable, and painting small a challenge. Gail Niebrugge, Alaska […]

Start Mini Painting of a Wolf

I spent a great deal of time with this wolf during my 2009 artist residency in Denali National Park, Alaska.  He stalked me while I was in the field doing research, after observing me for a few moments he abandoned the stalk, changed direction hunting something else.  During the day he appeared several times at […]

Pointillism Painting with a Small Brush

At this phase of the “Snow Bear” painting I am using a #3 brush, but it is difficult to work this small using the technique of dots.  This photo shows the small brush and part of the grizzly bear image on the 6″ x 8″ canvas. Gail Niebrugge, Alaska wildlife artist

Starting Another Mini Painting of a Grizzly Bear

Sorting through my research files I ran across photos and my journal written during a trip to Denali National Park one September when we were caught on the west end of the Denali Road during a snow storm.  We spent quite a bit of time watching this beautiful grizzly bear as he easily traveled through […]

Miniature Painting “Clamming” Phase Two

I’m creating depth with dots of acrylic paint by changing values, in the distance colors are closer in value, the foreground has more contrast.  I’m using short strokes to define the three year old grizzly bear, the seagull has very little paint at the moment. Gail Niebrugge, Alaska painter

Starting a New Mini Painting “Clamming”

I had the opportunity to observe many grizzly bears digging for clams at low tide along the Lake Clark National Park, Alaska, shoreline last year and enjoyed watching this youngster working away oblivious to the scavenger birds who were feasting on the scraps.  I’m not sure I can have the detail I want and do […]

Phase Four Moose Miniature Painting

I’ve been adding a variety of colored dots to the background and foreground, the moose figure remains unchanged at this stage. This is a close up of the multi colored dots just above the antlers.  Dots on top of dots.  Fun  stuff.  Up close it is amazing how much color is used, but from a […]

Step three Bull Moose Miniature Painting

Now I’m layering dots with very dark values in the background to establish the contrasts in this study.  Although the background looks black it is made  up of many different shades of color. Gail Niebrugge, Alaska wildlife artist

Step two Painting a Bull Moose in Pointillism

During this phase I’m establishing the darkest and lightest areas in the composition.  A transparent wash of acrylic is applied to the dark and mid tones on the body of the moose.  Light colored dots are applied to the landscape around the lower half of the painting.  This study is a miniature 8″ x 10″ […]

Begin Painting Study Bull Moose

Another in my series of small miniature studies of the big boys in Alaska.  I was fortunate to be able to research bull moose in the rut one year in Denali National Park in early September, and watched some of the largest bull moose sparring with smaller challengers.  This was one of the really big […]

Study of a Caribou Painting Phase Four

Yes, I sort of like the addition of the white space along the top third of the canvas, it helps silhouette the antlers and gives depth to the scene.  The dot work is progressing on the caribou, I’m using a #1 brush, very tiny and hard to control when my hand keeps falling asleep.  I […]

Small Study of Caribou Phase Three

At this point in the painting I’m evaluating the composition.  It is pretty basic, one object in the center of the picture plane.  Not too challenging, but this is a study of a caribou I remind myself.  It is easy to get lost in the dots and overwork the painting at this stage, it is […]

Next Step in Small Pointillism Painting; Caribou

Now the layering of dots begins in earnest.  I’ve already painted new colors over the top of previous dots to adjust value, this process will continue until I’m satisfied that the exact feeling, values, and punch are achieved.  I did not under paint the caribou in order to help me see the sketch and facilitate […]

Painting a Small Study in Pointillism-Beginning

Finally, a day free of business responsibilities, taxes, correspondence, volunteer commitments, and pain from my healing shoulder, a day to finally paint after four plus months!  Where to begin?  I thumbed through my research files for subject matter, sorted through storage filled with various papers, rag boards, canvas, Sintra, and Masonite panels, opened sticky lids […]

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