Wednesday, August 8, 2018

New Video: Painting Animals from Life

(Link to YouTube)
Many of you asked for a video that shows an entire painting from start to finish. This video delivers on that request two times over, with each gouache painting taking about 30 minutes.

One painting shows a Belgian draft horse getting washed on the day before the big parade. It's a complex, dynamic subject. Neither the horses nor the people hold still for more than a few moments. That makes the painting process challenging for me to do, but fun for you to watch, full of twists and turns. The other painting shows my son's husky mix named Smooth as he rests by the window. The intended audience is not only the animal lover, but also the general painter, from beginning to experienced.

69 minutes Widescreen, MP4 video. 
Digital download:

DVD at Amazon

“James’ techniques are not only insightful but his knowledge of the animals’ structure and his love of his subjects shine through his whole painting process. A thoroughly enjoyable presentation.”
—Gary Geraths, Professor of Art, Otis College of Art and Design

“It’s amazing to watch him get right in there and start drawing with his brush. After that, the looseness of his blocking is wonderful because he knows where it’s going and he’s not afraid to just let the process play itself out.” 
—Aaron Blaise, co-director of Disney’s Brother Bear and founder of

“Animals are beautiful and a delight to see captured in art, but it can be oh-so-hard to do, as they just won’t hold still or follow direction as a model would. As an animation artist, I'm all too familiar with the challenge of capturing a moment in time. The design of the production opens the viewer up to a profound and deep understanding as to how each piece was created.” 
—Chuck Grieb, Professor of Entertainment Art & Animation, Cal State Fullerton

“It's magic to watch his paintings develop from big, loose shapes to finished pieces, and there's much to be learned from his thoughtful narration, which includes anecdotes about his models as well as lessons in color, anatomy and perspective.” 
—Shari Blaukopf, teacher and urban sketcher

“I found that when I'm teaching workshops, the artists are mostly transparent watercolorists and confused about using opaque mediums, and drawing first, then filling in the color. Your video shows them that the important part is laying in tones and values and getting your perspective and composition correct right away and then you can do as much detail as you want.” 
—Morton E. Solberg

“For starters, as artist and educator, James Gurney is a superb storyteller with the ability to delight, inform and entertain all the while setting you back on your heels with wicked skill sets.” 
—Donald Colley

“James is not only a master of life sketching but he’s an excellent teacher. In this video he breaks down his process into manageable parts while clearly expressing his approach to problem solving.” —Jeff Hein


Lilianc said...

My dream is to be a wildlife artist and i've been waiting for this video for a long time !
Its been one year since i've made your blog my home page and i want to thank you for sharing all your great tips and discoveries. And especially your way of being like an adventurer of art, make your accessories, painting outside, sharing it with your wife... That made my girlfriend and i discover the joy of outdoor painting and now we do it every week, it's a great moment to share.
I feel lucky to be a student and to learn from a great master like you !

Lilian, France

Pilgrim said...

I purchased Casein in the Wild from Gumroad yesterday and enjoyed it. I understood they offered lifetime access.
I would like to watch it again, but it’s frozen and doesn’t play through the app, even though I deleted and re-downloaded it. Only the trailer, not the full-length video, shows up in my online Gumroad library. I’m not sure how to even contact the seller to try to get it working.
Do you have any idea how to fix it?
Thank you!

rock995 said...

got it. Fantasy in the Wild also. But...don't try and download them to your iPhone or else they just play and you burn up another download.

Pilgrim said...

Ok, disconnected the IPad from the keyboard and it worked. Not sure why. Thx anyway.

James Gurney said...

Life in the Slow Lane, the best first step is to contact . They're really nice, and can figure out tech issues that baffle me. If that doesn't solve your issue, contact me by email and I'll figure something else out.

Lilian, I agree that doing art outside is one of the coolest thing to do with a significant other!

Pilgrim said...

Oh, thank you. I don’t know why I couldn’t locate that email earlier. I did figure it out, after I went away for awhile, then came back to it.

I appreciate your tutorial placing value on rural and village locations.
So often, the urban sketching movement seems aimed at people with more free time, money, travel freedom, and energy than almost anyone I actually know!
I am wondering how much difference getting the sketchbook upright, on an easel, makes in the quality of a painting. It must help with sight sizing, perspective lines, and looser hand/arm movement.
Also, I enjoyed listening to the interview you did with Eric Rhoads on the Plein Air Podcast. The bit about the permeable border between urban sketching and plein air painting was interesting.

Carole Pivarnik said...

Another home run! I'm always happy to support your work by buying your is both enlightening and entertaining to watch you paint and talk about both the process and the scene/subject as you go. Since I have bought most if not all of your long-form videos, I sometimes like to indulge in a whole day of binge-watching them :) This one is especially enjoyable because equines and dogs are some of my favorite subjects.

I really appreciate your generous sharing of expertise and gently fun sense of humor. It's amazing how often I think of and then apply some tip or remember an approach you've shared when I'm working on my own paintings -- thanks for helping me improve as an artist!

By the way, I recently re-listened to your interview on the PleinAir Podcast and enjoyed it just as much the second time!

Bob said...
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