Nov 7, 2012

Miniature Painting - Painting No 4 - Sea Lion

Miniature painting number #4, a sea lion basking in the sun after a recent dip in the Columbia River.

This is something new for me. I don't think I've ever painted a sea lion before, or any marine mammal for that matter. The shiny wet coat was a challenge, but fun. Painting wet fur is not something I have a lot of experience with so I had to rework the white areas a couple times to get them to look like wet shine rather than the sea lion looking like a pinto horse. :)

Sea Lion No1
6"x6" oil on Gessobord
Original: SOLD

The photo reference for this painting was taken during my trip to Astoria, Oregon a couple years ago. I remember when visiting the Astoria Column I could hear quite a ruckus coming from down by the water. I asked a local about the sound and got an exasperated response about sea lions on the docks. Apparently they are quite an attraction for visitors, but a most unwelcome guest to the locals. Not only do they keep residents awake at night from their incessant barking, but they cause all sorts of problems at the marina docks where they like to gather. They gather in quite large numbers, completely covering the docks, sometimes so many sea lions on one dock they actually sink or damage it from their weight. They can be dangerous if approached so this makes it difficult, if not impossible, for people to reach their boats. Fortunately, the sea lions don't stay there all year so life can return to normal for the residents before long.

Whether they are welcome or not, I had fun taking photos. They spend a lot of time squabbling and chasing each other off the best spots, so they were rather entertaining to watch.

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