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The San Diego Murals – Part Twenty

Apologies for the lag between mural posts; I was at Spectrum Live! in Kansas City two weekends ago and then WonderFest in Louisville, Kentucky this last weekend. Nevertheless, even with my hectic travel schedule I refined more of the Pleistocene mural. Now that I am back home until Comic-Con International in July, you’ll be seeing much greater progress with each passing week. My goal is to finish this second mural within a month. I would love to have it done in time for the two murals to be installed at Elephant Odyssey in the San Diego Zoo by Comic-Con.

Here you can see the bobcat and desert tortoise both taking shape.

I have started to “sculpt” the tortoise with paint.

These two animals are now close to being finished.

I made the huge short-faced bear larger than I had in my original lay-in to make it more in proportion to the animals around it.

Once I was happy with its proportions, I began to refine it and pay more careful attention to its anatomy.

The bear is now pretty close to being finished. I can see the influences of both Bob Kuhn and Frank Frazetta in this little painting. And isn’t this a nice little color scheme?

The teratorn‘s size needed some adjusting, so I quickly laid in the outline of a larger bird over my first lay-in.

The same size-adjusting was needed for the capybaras, except that they needed to be smaller. I hacked away at their size with a larger brush and then began to indicate some bits of natural capybara behavior as well.

I reduced the size of the distant timber wolf silhouettes, then began to refine both the giant cave lion (one and a half times the size of a modern tiger) and the pronghorn antelopes.

I decided that two profiles near each other (the cave lion and the short-faced bear) was one too many, so I turned the lion’s head a bit toward the viewer (that would be you). That helped to make the lion’s pose less stiff and formal. I quickly changed the color and value of the pronghorns’ coats, making them their more typical butterscotch/caramel color.

The lion is pretty much finished but the pronghorns need work, as, obviously, so do the timber wolves.

The California condor is now fairly completed…

…as is the gray fox. I found that pointillism was a good solution for indicating the gray fox’s grizzled coat.

I am getting very excited as this picture progresses!

Next: Dog Family – Coyote, Dire Wolves & Timber Wolves

7 thoughts on “The San Diego Murals – Part Twenty

  1. Wow…again!

    I never really thought of painting as “sculpting” but seeing the working and reworking through these many progress shots, I now understand it more in that sense. Which prompts me to wonder, and maybe I asked this before, but have you done any sculpture pieces? With your knowledge and talent, I’d bet they would be awesome.

    And yes, that is a nice little color scheme ….within the overall nice big color scheme.

  2. Hey Mr. Stout,

    Given what you say here about the size of the giant cave lion I guess some of those felines in Frazetta’s Illustrations Arcanum drawings are not just flights of imagination after all.
    Terrific work on this.

  3. Hi Rick,
    I’ve sculpted. I think I do it well but I am SO SLOW compared to my 2-D output that I find it very frustrating. When I was painting my San Diego Natural History Museum murals I occasionally sculpted a dinosaur (or some other creature’s) head with which I was having trouble visualizing in three dimensions so that I could look at it in different views and see how the planes of light and shadows fell upon its surface.

    Hi Aaron!
    Great to see you at the Spectrum event! Can you imagine the size of the American Lion’s paws? They must have been like frying pans.

  4. Howdy Mr. Stout,

    Great talking to you in KC too. I heard afterward that artist Paul Bonner really wanted to say hello to you. He said he spotted your Sun Records T-shirt indicating you had”taste and talent.”
    Wish I had known; I would have directed you over to his booth.

    A lion with paws the size of frying pans! Now there’s a subject for a horror movie.

  5. Bill,

    Well sculpture does possibly take more time. But then I wondered, how long does it take you to do an “average” piece (not that anything you have done could ever be considered average) as in the Hallucinations book, or Dinosaurs book..

    That monoclonius sculpt I am working on has about 16 hours in it, including wiring the armature, and will easily have another 16. And that probably won’t include working out the texture and making some texture stamps to augment the final skin pattern. But when you think about it, a week of work to have a fully dimensional sculpt, ready to mold and cast isn’t too bad. But maybe your pieces are a day of research, a half-day of drawing/inking, and a day or two of painting? So comparatively, yes, sculpting is a slower process. Maybe you could post some pics of even the heads you’ve sculpted. I’m sure we’d all love to see them.

  6. Hi Rick,
    One sculpt of mine you can see without waiting for me to post anything is Linnea Quigley’s transformed face in “The Return of the Living Dead”. Director Dan O’Bannon insisted I sculpt it, even after I tried to beg off. I sculpted it in clay over a plaster life mask of Linnea. Tony Gardner finished the skin details for me.

    Shades of Crash Corrigan as “It – The Terror from Beyond Space”, Linnea’s chin ended up being in (and under) the middle of the sculpt’s gaping mouth…

  7. Hi Aaron,
    I was wondering who, if anyone, would notice my Sun Studios shirt there in the land o’ great BBQ…

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