Saturday, January 28, 2017

Geza Vastagh's Lion Studies

Geza Vastagh (Hungarian 1866-1919) sketched lions from life. This study is in pastel.

Many of his best studies were done at the zoos in Hamburg, Leipzig, and Berlin. He also sketched and photographed in Africa in 1898.

An oil study like this demands patience, knowledge, and a well-stocked memory.

One of the challenges is deciding which moment to capture. A snarling pose like this passes so quickly. It's a lot easier to capture an animal in a sleeping pose.

More samples of Geza Vastagh on Wikimedia Commons
Thanks to R.D.


Geoff Watson said...

Hi James,

Lovely sketches. I went to the Washington National Zoo a couple months ago and sketched lions and tigers (but not bears, oh my). As you mentioned, it was easiest when the animals were sleeping, or at least resting. I had mixed results, but once I let go of my preconceptions about how lion should look, I did better. Lions have huge scary mouths! And legs with joints in unexpected places. And distinctive eyes.

It was really fun. The hardest part was not the animals but my fellow humans, some of whom were more interested in my drawings than the big cats. Also, Next time I'll bring my own chair.

Anyway, thanks for the inspiration!


Linda Navroth said...

How do you find these seemingly obscure artists? Do you have specific criteria you put into Google searches, or do some of them come up during searches for tother things (always my favorite!)?

James Gurney said...

Linda, I found out about this guy from a fellow wildlife artist, Randal Dutra.

James Gurney said...

Linda, I learned about this artist from Randal Dutra, a movie VFX artist who also is a wonderful wildlife painter.