View Full Version : Squirrel Underfoot

John Jaster
10-21-2007, 11:08 PM



Title: Squirrel Underfoot
Year Created: 2007
Medium: Acrylic
Surface: Other
Dimension: 18x24
Allow digital alterations?: Yes!

The mission was to try one of my abstract techniques combined with a realistic image. I paint both ways but usually as separate projects.<br><br>So I picked a simple subject. This is a cell phone snapshot of a squirrel underfoot (bottom photo is the source). <br><br>For the abstract background (left side of top photo) I did combing. It's a thin layer of liquid acrylic media with drops of color which were then mingled with sweeps of a comb. Several layers were done, and the initial squirrel body was combed in the same way, with brush touch ups at the end to improve the look.<br><br>For the more standard background (right side of top photo) it's simply sponging.<br><br>The middle photo is an extreme closeup of the combed version so you can better see an example of the colors and swirls.

OK, which do you prefer? Or more importantly, does the abstract combined with the realism work?<br><br>Personally, I think the sponged version looks a lot better, and even the squirrel was improved because it was shaped by brushes from the beginning instead of by the slightly inaccurate combing. HOWEVER, I think the combed version is more interesting, and although the squirrel itself isn't moving the motion inherent in the combed version gives a hint of activity.<br><br>Yeah, these squirrels aren't the best squirrels - feel free to critique those too :)

10-22-2007, 07:27 AM
Sorry, none works for me but I thought the third one is a painting itself without reading and that one is beautiful :) and the yellow red white part in the lower right which is the eye and neck region of the squirrel looks like a squirrel itself :)

10-22-2007, 10:41 AM
I prefer the sponged bg squirrel.
To make him more realistic you could glue birdseed around him :evil: They always do get the birdseed, don't they?

10-22-2007, 01:30 PM
I prefer the third one, where there's a conection between the subject and it's enviornment:)
This has a personal language of saying things.

10-22-2007, 01:34 PM
my two cents ... the first image is the best because the soft, blurry background vibrates with the nervous activity that squirrels seem to always posses
the second is a little dull in comparison,
and the third is more a bird in a tree for me, which works also, would like to see it again without the glare

fun stuff john, keep 'em comin' : )


10-22-2007, 03:40 PM
Hi John, I like the squirrels, both of them. Quite the different view than one usually gets of a squirrel. About the first painting: It is really like the squirrel is submerging his head and front legs in water...this makes me think that we have the wrong animal. I have never seen a squirrel near water like that. Raccons however are always mucking about in the water. maybe an energetic trio of raccons then, done in that combing style with mama coon doing the water scrabble?

John Jaster
10-22-2007, 06:00 PM
Thanks everyone, especially for your honesty. I don't really like these much either but I'd promised to try the combo technique. If I combo again it will be different from these.

I've got another abstract I'll roll out later tonight - hopefully weird and a little more interesting.