Friday, 17 June 2011

Cervus elaphus elaphus

A few paintings of a personal favourite subject, the male Red Deer. These images all show the stag at the point when its growing antlers are still sheathed in velvet (very dense short hair).

'Stag in Velvet'
acrylics on canvas (76cm x 76cm)

'Red Deer Study'
acrylics on canvas (61cm x 46cm)

'Shedding the Velvet'
acrylics on canvas (76cm x 61cm)

'Red Deer Stag'
acrylics on canvas (100cm x 80cm)

1. 'Red Deer Stag' work in progress (
The main image is quickly roughed out from an initial sketch (which I've managed to lose), built up in terms of volume, light and shade and then developed further with the addition of some rudimentary colour. I was still experimenting with the background at this stage. 

2. work in progress 
The stag continues to progress but things are kept pretty loose at the moment, not too much detail. The background has been lightened again and subsequently develops into a gentle open landscape.

3. work in progress 
The painting continues to sharpen up and detail emerges from the background. Numerous transparent colour glazes are used to breath life into the landscape and give it depth. There are further refinements to the stag with detailing and transparent glazes and the painting eventually comes to a close. As ever, these final stages of painting really take the longest to execute. The scale of the painting and amount of close detail can make this whole process quite ridiculous. I went slightly insane painting all of that grass, never again!

Detail of the stag's head from the finished painting.

All images copyright Manfred Hennessy. 
All rights reserved.

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