pronghorn oil painting on beetle kill pine

Posted on November 9th, 2015 by mountain girl  |  7 Comments »


Here’s that new piece of art I mentioned the other day.  Pronghorn are not common up here in the Rockies (at least, I’ve never seen them here), but whenever we take a road trip to Santa Fe, we always spot a herd or two in the desert.  They are striking with their tan, white, and black color patterns, and look more like they belong on an African plain.


I worked this piece as I did the buffalo I painted not long ago, but in a softer, more realistic style. Like the buffalo, it is painted on a slice of beetle kill pine, although this one is a much thinner slab, about a half-inch. I washed it with an oil ground of blue, letting through all the glory of the beetle markings, and painted the pronghorn over it once the ground dried.


I really like the visual interplay of the pronghorn and wood, and the way they merge together.  When working on beetle kill, I just have to let the wood paint itself, since I’m not exactly sure which parts will take the oil wash and which will repel it.  Here you can see that the outer arc of the wood really soaked up a deep saturation of color, while the inner part of the semi-circle only took it lightly, even though I washed the tint evenly across the piece.  The wood is much more dense in the center–the same thing happened with the buffalo painting, to a lesser degree.


I have one more large semi-circle of beetle kill, and I’m working a third animal of the American West on it.  This one is being ornery and putting up a good fight, but in the end, I’ll wrassle it down and hog tie it, then set it free to gallop across the beetle kill prairie.


The pronghorn and buffalo are now available in in my shop.

7 Responses to “pronghorn oil painting on beetle kill pine”

  1. Jennifer Miller says on :

    Very nice. At least you have an endless supply of beetle kill wood! It’s amazing what people can do with that stuff!

  2. mountain girl says on :

    Thanks, Jennifer! It’s definitely fun to work with. 🙂

  3. Mom & Dad says on :

    Wow honeeeeee- Really Beautiful 🙂 luv u/mom

  4. mountain girl says on :

    Thanks, Mom! Ode to Santa Fe… 🙂

  5. Michele says on :

    I especially love this one…like the way you did the background….such nice detail and lighting on the pronghorn! You make it all seem simple – it’s beautiful! Mimi

  6. mountain girl says on :

    Glad you liked it!

  7. Poco Mountain Girl » Blog Archive » american west painting #3: mustang says on :

    […] this amber yellow ground, I wanted to contrast it with a blue roan (opposite color scheme of the Pronghorn).  After looking at lots of photos of blue roans, though, I decided to switch to a piebald with […]