I’m in the process of painting the third of three different geckos for a ‘Unique Pet’ portrait commission. I’m almost finished now with the painting phase of this project. After the last little gecko is finished, I’ll frame them and mount the pigment sample rocks on the frame. Finally, the backs will be professionally finished with a dust cover and hanging wire, along with the certificate of authenticity for each one. Over the years since I’ve started painting, I’ve really enjoyed doing the various interesting animals. Most of these were requests by my grandchildren and include a bearded dragon, brahman cow, chameleon (this one was in colored pencil), polish rooster, and a highland and longhorn cow, and finally a capybara and snake. This current commission is my first time doing gecko paintings.
It’s impossible to get the exact colors of most things that I paint, because the wild Ozark pigments are not the same as store-bought paints. These have an earthy tone to them, few of the colors are clear, and there are no bright green or red. Blue is possible only when I have the juice of Asiatic dayflowers trapped on a blotter paper. And the blue is going to fade over a while anyway, so I don’t use it often. However, if you like the earthy look, the colors are perfect, because they are handmade from pigments collected by the artist from the home of the artist.
The First of the Gecko Paintings
A Second Gecko
I decided to do what I thought might be the most difficult gecko next. This one has a lot of spots.
The Third Gecko
All Three of the Finished Gecko Paintings
What’s Next on the Easel?
When I finish the gecko paintings, I’ll be done with commissions for 2023. Then I’ll start working with oil paints (also made from the Ozark pigments). The first painting on the easel will be a scene depicting the King’s river, as seen from the bridge on our road. I’d like to paint this particular scene in all of the seasons. The first one will be winter. Follow me on Instagram if you’d like to see updates of works in progress. Sign up for my newsletter if you’d like to hear from me on what’s going on out here at Wild Ozark each month.