IF: Wilderness

zdepski's oil study of a sleeping cowboy

Sleeping Cowboy, oil study from 1998. This piece is a classic academic lighting problem. Creating mood and atmosphere with light, bounced light and contrast. This is a piece from an advanced painting class with Renee Fuchs at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. Our model was one of Renee's favorites - lanky.

We shot reference in Rittenhouse Square Park in morning light with some very nice shadows, and also back in the studio with more controlled, bounced and yellow/orange gels - You can make a fantastic bounced color gel by wrapping a piece of cardboard with a yard of brightly colored fabric, then bouncing strong white light off of it and onto your model. This method is generally used as a secondary light source side light or under light.

Zdepski's photo session pictures for Sleeping Cowboy, 1998

We got two sessions with the model, and I chose to paint from the studio situation, with the model present and falling back on the studio photographs as reference... well, not really at all, since I painted directly from life with this one. I fudged in a lonely Tonopah Nevada background I had photographed in the 1980s... like a moon scape.

My dear mother-in-law has this piece. It goes with her post and beam home, very well.

Painting is oil on canvas, Photography is 35mm film.


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