L'appel de la nature | Donner du sens à l'art de la faune

Patricia Traub is “a unique combination of artist, conservationist, and wildlife advocate,” writes BJ Foreman in The” artist magazine> “and it’s in her dramatic oil paintings that her interests are expressed most eloquently.” Patricia’s work is featured in this issue, and while I’ve seen glimpses of her paintings, I’ve only recently had the time to sit down and devour the article about her work; it moved me and left me feeling introspective. I’ll let you read the article for yourself to learn how she “depicts humans as protectors alongside endangered species and unwanted pets,” but until you do, I’d like to share some of her painting and composition techniques.

[Score a free download on Human Anatomy Drawings for Artists]

The Caregivers by Patricia Traub

The Caregivers (oil, 54×84) by Patricia Traub

Beginning Steps: Drawing and Composition by Patricia Traub


1. Drawing, composition, revision: Here you see the drawing and composition fully realized and drawn on the canvas with graphite pencil and then a painted line. Look carefully to see a change I made to the position of the goat’s head; you can see the pentimenti (lines previously drawn in searching for correct placement) through the thin films of gray paint. I also began laying in the light and shade on the figure in thin layers.



2. Figure laid in; revision: For this step, I had to work quickly because my time with the model was limited, so I painted the entire figure with a first layer of light and shade in a “dead-color” palette. The animals are still in the drawing stage. I’ve changed the breed of goat completely and redrawn her. I’ve also determined the Patagonian cavy (animal in the top right position) to be too large in scale and decided to redraw it as well.



3. Figure and background: At this stage, I’ve painted the figure with five to six layers of paint. On the figure’s face and hair, I began applying velaturas or glazes. I also blocked in the dark background to create contrasts for the light figures. The head of the model is near completion. Although my composition appears completed in this step, I always allow for changes at any stage of a painting. My working title for this piece is The Animal Watcher (oil, 30×30). Check my website for the finished painting later this year.~Patricia Traub

The complete feature article on Patricia’s work includes the artist’s advice for creating multiple layers and glazes, and scumbling. Click here to get your print or digital copy of the September issue of The Artist’s Magazine (subscribe today so you never miss an issue) and read about the deeper meanings behind this artist’s works.

Feeling the call of the wild,


Cherie Haas, online editor**Click” here to subscribe the artists network newsletter for inspiration instruction and more>



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