This stag painting was completed during the lockdown period and is probably the work that most closely embodies my feelings during this time. I wanted to paint something that captured the strange times we have been living through and to work through some of my own emotions at the same time.
At first I wasn't sure where to start. I didn't want to paint the anxiety that so many of us have been feeling, so I decided to paint what I was craving instead:
This monumental stag seems to embody all of those things for me. I decided to call the painting, 'The Protector'.
I started with a monochrome underpainting, completed in raw umber to get the tonal values right. Then I put in the dramatic background colours. I don’t always paint the background first but with this one I wanted to capture the magical light behind him before I started working on his head and shoulders.
As the painting progressed, I went backwards and forwards to adjust the lighting to make sure that the balance was right.
Here is a timelapse video showing how I painted this magnificent beast from start to finish.
It took two weeks to complete the painting in total but he was a great talisman and help during that period.
I feel a bit better with him watching over me from the easel.
The painting is 60cm x 60cm (24"x24") and will eventually be around 74cmx74cm when it's framed.
Finally, here is a selfie I took with The Protector to try to give you an idea of the scale of the original painting.
If you are interested in purchasing the original oil painting, it will be £795 (plus postage unless you can collect from my studio in Suffolk) but it won't be ready for a few weeks as it has to dry and be varnished and framed.
This painting will eventually be turned into canvases and prints. If you would like to look at some other stags in the meantime, please check out my other stag art.