Monday, May 27, 2024

Rendering Realistic Fur in Gouache

 Carl Brenders (b. 1937) is a wildlife artist from Belgium known for his richly detailed gouache and watercolor paintings of mammals and birds in their environments.

How does he do it? There’s not much information about his technique available online, but I did some digging.

He begins by taking a lot of photographs of the animal and its habitat.

According to his 1994 book Wildlife: The Nature Paintings of Carl Benders:

“Even after spending weeks of research and photography in the field, the artist devotes more time to develop the concept of the painting.

“With this planned, he first makes a complete pencil drawing of the entire subject, including the background.

“Over his pencil work he then paints with sepia watercolor much like pen-and-ink drawing. On top of the sepia he airbrushes areas in watercolor, and then paints over all this with gouache.

“He finds the combination of gouache and watercolor perfectly suited to his detailed work; it achieves an effect he finds impossible with acrylic or oil paint.

“Only the Flemish masters, says Brenders, could achieve such detail in oils.”


Quotes by Dana Cooper from the book Wildlife: The Nature Paintings of Carl Benders

2 comments:

  1. https://youtu.be/KyZOvcTsn6k?si=tuOr8bDIbzkILXDd
    There is an old video on YT that shows a little bit of his technique
    Loretta Krol

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  2. Can't believe you are still here! I had saved a link about an 'artist statement generator' - 2009, so I didn't have much hope, but here you are! I LOVE blogs, I don't use mine anymore, maybe I'll go back to it?
    Deb Wheeler Andrews, TX.

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