from a dad's view

Bull Elk – watercolor

I just thought that I would throw this on real quick this morning, I don’t want you to think that I’m a slacking and not painting.  This is a bow hunters dream, a large mature bull elk, up close and personal, and full broadside shot… moment of pause to allow the goose bumps to leave my arms. Someday when I’m not paying for high schools, college, auto gas, daughters insurances, etc., I’m going west to bow hunt for one of these bad boys, so majestic and beautiful, it is one of North America’s top trophies.  I hope to finish it out tonight and hopefully post tomorrow or the next day.  Also the grapes will be finished today at lunch, so if your interested, come back later to see how those turned out. Leave comments either way, I’m getting 100’s of hits everyday, but very few comments. And to all of my blog buds that do take the time to visit and comment, Thank you Thank you Thank you!

15 responses

  1. Great painting, Ryan! You would have gone nuts, if you had seen the sights from my cabin at Estes Park, CO. I went there for a seminar and stayed at a cute little cabin at the YMCA group camp. Every day, my cabin was surrounded by no less than 20-30 elk. They were used to people, so would loiter about and barely look up when you stepped out to take pictures. If I can find those photos, I’ll email them to you…. just for the drool effect. 😀

    February 23, 2011 at 6:29 am

    • Thanks for the pics Beth, I’ve would love to go there this summer, I’ve heard so much about it.
      And thanks for your kind words!

      February 23, 2011 at 11:16 am

  2. You’re going to really have fun when you get to go hunt for one of these bad boys. The shot will change your life, so I hear.
    When I was in Pagosa Springs, Colorado my neighbor had shot and elk, though I don’t recall if it was a bull elk, but is was a 12 point rack.
    I know how just how it is to get the hits, but not enough comments. But I surely always make my effort to come see you new posts.
    I so love this painting, and you’re not even done yet! Looking good, Ryan.
    Off to look at the grapes.

    February 23, 2011 at 10:25 am

    • Thank you Debbie and sorry it took so long to get to your blog. It’s been a crazy busy month, but I try to get to everyones blog as often as possible. I think your watercolors are looking wonderful and I’m serious about a trade.

      February 23, 2011 at 11:04 am

  3. A magnificent creature! This painting is going to be great! My daughter has visited your blog, coming from mine, read many posts back and talked about your art with me – at length. She loves your work! Too bad she didn’t leave you a comment :(.

    Please don’t get annoyed with me for saying this – when you will go hunting would you consider shooting with a telephoto lens and not a hunting rifle? You know what I am getting at – blah-blah-blah… Please don’t hate me.

    February 23, 2011 at 10:51 am

    • If it will make you feel better, I do take a telephoto lens when hunting… so I can see which one to shoot! LOL! Just teasing! I’m fine with you wishing a photo instead of a kill, but if it makes you feel better, we eat everything that I shoot. I don’t kill for just a trophy, but for the extremely low fat food from the animal, and to me these are animals God placed on the Earth for food and beauty.
      It’s wonderful that your daughter has visited, and I hope next time she might leave a comment. Thanks, and never annoyed!

      February 23, 2011 at 11:02 am

  4. mjb153

    Wow, that is lovely.. I can’t wait to see the finished product.

    I really enjoy taking nature photography, but don’t do a lot of painting of it. I prefer something up-close and personal, and usually opt for simple backgrounds. I have a lot of respect for people who have the patience to devote the time it takes for full-blown nature scenes though. I’ll check back to see the final!

    February 23, 2011 at 11:56 am

    • My daughter ( has a love for photography also, you might check her blog out. Thanks for your comments!

      February 23, 2011 at 4:58 pm

  5. Beautiful painting! How did you paint the background? Did you brush it in or did you sponge it? I always struggle with backgrounds – all that space is intimidating!

    I just took a class from Mark Polomchak ( two weekends ago in Chicago. He taught us some great background techniques, but I’m always looking for more tips!

    February 24, 2011 at 4:16 am

    • Thank you,
      The background was painted by flooding the sections a few at a time and then going in with a fairly wet brush loaded with paint. But I just blot or touch the colors here and there, and then go to another color and do the same, not ever really brushing with stroke more of a push. And the I just turn the paper to control the bleeds. My brushes are loaded with paint because the start off really dark, but once they dry, they lighten up a lot.
      Hopefully my brother is bringing a digital recorder in a few weeks, I’m hoping to do a few short videos, and post them on my blog. Thanks again!

      February 24, 2011 at 5:31 am

  6. aswirly

    This is so beautiful Ryan. Funny, your talk about bow hunting reminds me of the time I was about 10 and backpacking with my Dad in the High Sierras. Dad had accidentally took us during bow hunting season and we kept running into hunters clad in camo hiding in the bushes. Eeeek… Fortunately we didn’t end up as trophies 😉

    February 25, 2011 at 12:47 pm

    • Your lucky, around here through most of the season we don’t even have to wear the blaze orange. I see people walk under my tree all the time and they have no idea I’m even there. I seen someone onetime as they walk under my tree, I said something and just about scared the #$%^ out of them. But don’t you believe the trophy part, your a trophy for anyone (trying to score some browny points)! LOL

      February 25, 2011 at 12:53 pm

      • aswirly

        Browny points totally scored! lol.

        February 25, 2011 at 1:24 pm

  7. Aren’t they huge animals? I don’t remember if I’ve ever seen one, though I think I have in Alaska.

    Lovely painting.

    February 27, 2011 at 4:46 pm

  8. Your Elk looks amazing, well you really have a talent on drawing animals, still life and people and anything actually. Very life like.

    March 1, 2011 at 4:33 pm

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