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Steven LinghamSteven Lingham   AFC Steven Lingham
Wildlife paintings
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How I like to work...
Because of the detailed style of my work I work very closely from photographs, so as well as being a wildlife artist, to a certain extent I need to be a wildlife photographer.
I spend many hours in the field watching and photographing the wildlife I paint, I often set up hides or climb trees just to be able to see the animals/birds I intend to photograph, I have spent many hours waiting around for just a glimpse.

Once the photographs have been successfully taken I then start to carefully plan my painting. More often than not I superimpose one photograph onto another, which is the advantage of being an artist over a photographer as itís very rare to get the animal/bird exactly where you want it within the landscape.

Firstly I draw the entire painting out in pencil with a basic line drawing,I only use the best of materials for my work so that they will last for many generations. I like to use fine sable watercolour brushes, they are perfect for achieving the fine details in animalís fur or birdís feathers, infact they are so soft that one brush will only last me for the one painting, but itís worth it!
I now only work using oil paints, I like to use MDF or masonite (smooth board), or stretched canvas primed with several applications of acrylic primer and sanded down to achieve a very smooth surface (so as not to loose any detail). I apply areas of block colour as an undercoat, the next step is to start filling in the detail, working from the darkest colours to the lightest, blending each layer as I go, this process can take weeks or even months to achieve, I feel itís more important to spend that extra bit of time working on a painting than it is to rush to keep the work within a set time limit.

I feel that painting the eyes of wildlife brings the subject to life, but Iíve often heard artistsí say that ďif you get the eyes right the rest of the painting doesnít matter!Ē I think this a criminal way to think, infact I often leave the eyes until the very end of the painting, that way I strive to make the subject look alive without the eyes, once the painting is near completion I then paint in the eyes, and the whole thing really does come alive.

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Tel: 07779694576
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Member of the Artists for Conservation Foundation www.natureartists.com.