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Richmond reds

This is a 40.6 X 55.9 cm. oil painting on canvas, painted inApril/May 2024


There once was an occasion when I was nearly run down by a stag in hot pursuit of a hind during the rut in Richmond Park, but this was not it. Rather I had been watching two small groups of deer near a pond and attempting to get closer to them by slipping from one large oak to another in order to lose my silhouette and avoid detection. That is to reckon without the keen senses of deer and they trotted off into the long grass and towards distant trees with the low sun on their backs.

 

The back view of the stag in this picture came from that and I invented the hind for him to pursue. I made her spring uphill, though the ground had been flat, near a pond, because that introduced an interesting diagonal into the composition. I sloped the grasses in the opposite direction and then let my imagination work out the lighting, trying to make it dramatic as possible with most of the bodies in deep shadow.

 

I worked some grey into their coats because it was Autumn and they would not have been in full glossy summer condition but beginning to grow their heavier winter coats. The grey itself came from the colour used on the tree bark, just as the rough scumbled grasses into which the deer are running picked up it colouring from the red of their coats mixed with the ochres and Naples yellow used for the grasses around their bodies.



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