Monday, February 24, 2014

Looking for a hippo...

Fresh off of the easel, not even dry yet...

"Black and Green (Black-crowned Night Heron, juvenile)"
Oil on 1/2" prepared maple
12 x 24

Available exclusively through Lovetts Gallery in Tulsa, Oklahoma -

I started this painting awhile back and it simply went off and on the easel over several months because of other commitments but last week I was able to finish it up. The reference for this piece came from a visit to the National Zoo in Washington DC where I was looking for my friend and fellow artist Paul Rhymer's Hippo sculpture that was installed at the zoo. While looking for his work I stumbled on to an exhibit that a bunch of Black-crowned Night Heron's apparently live at - no they are not zoo animals but birds that have chosen to live there. I was very taken with all of the green reeds and the herons that were creeping through them.

I hope you enjoy the painting!


Thursday, February 20, 2014

Two Years in the making!

Draw Realistic Animals
wildlife, pets & more
Instructional Book by Robert Louis Caldwell
Forward by Terry Miller
Published by North Light Books
Released June 2014

Pre-order your autographed copy of
Draw Realistic Animals
wildlife, pets & more 

10% off all Advance autographed copies until April 1, 2014

$25.00 plus shipping
(Sales tax will applied to all Virginia, USA residents)

Shipping outside of the United States please email us at for
shipping estimates.

(Click here to go to webpage for ordering the book)

Pre-release orders are being taken now, the book is scheduled to be released late June 2014. Your copy will be autographed by Robert and made out to the person(s) whose name(s) you insert into the box above. All orders will ship in early July 2014.

If you are ordering multiple copies made out to different individuals simply click on the "Continue Shopping" button on the cart page which will bring you back to this page so that you may order another copy inscribed to a different recipient.

In the instructional book “Draw Realistic Animals: Wildlife, Pets & More,” Robert takes you step-by-step through 12 drawings. He works through a variety of animal textures, including the fur of a colobus monkey, the distinctive markings of a vulture and the complex arrangement of scales adorning the Red-headed Agama. He also demonstrates how to draw animals in different habitats, from a dog curled up on the sofa, to a chickadee perched on a branch decked out with holiday lights to elephants in the African bush.
Robert’s work is meticulously drawn, and they are planned out well in advance of the first pencil touching paper. In his book, he imparts the all-important fundamentals of drawing, including drawing materials, reference materials, transferring your sketch and the most important part of art, composition.

Robert’s method of drawing is known as “continuous tone,” which he accomplishes by layering his graphite, starting from the lightest pencil and working his way up to the darker pencils. This layering technique establishes rich, solid tonal masses creating a great contrast and depth in his work that makes his drawings come to life.

As you read through this book, you will come to learn how important patience and your internal voice are (as well as a continued sharp pencil) to creating highly detailed drawings of animals.
The foreword in Robert’s book is written by Terry Miller, a highly acclaimed graphite artist, a master in pictorial composition and the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum’s 2013 Birds in Art Master Artist. Terry has been friend and a mentor of Robert’s since they first met at the 2007 Birds in Art Exhibition, and Robert was very honored that Terry agreed to write the foreword to his book.
“Much to my personal liking, as it is the method with which I have developed my approach to graphite drawing over the years, Robert details the technique of layering to build up darks and develop dimension and depth in a drawing and, closing out the first part of the book, he touches upon what I feel is of most importance in structuring a fine drawing — the well-established principles of compositional design. Including ideas such as contrast, movement and rhythm, he discusses those principles along with the others noted in the text, applying them to initial studies and sketches and, moving them into more finalized contour drawings, he shows how to prepare to start work on a finished drawing.”~Terry Miller

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Have patience...

WIP - "Three Princes" Oil Painting, 24 x 36

Painting notes:

I happily started back to work on my painting of the three bull elephants today! This painting has been composed and on the panel for several months now, mocking me from the corner of my studio - not anymore! This was actually the first piece that I composed when I got back from my Tanzania 2012 adventure and it was inspired by several events that lead up to my securing that adventure. So when I went to Tanzania I had this painting in mind and was extremely pleased to have captured the needed reference for this painting on the very last  day as I literally was driving out of the Tarangire gate.

Currently the painting is in the under drawing stage, this is where I completely draw in the composition establishing all of my values of the finished piece, I will cover this with color. I find myself looking for a quicker way to get this stage done especially since it is a large piece but I just keep reminding myself to have patience.