Animal/Wildlife Winners from the 28th Annual Art Competition

Congratulations to the 30 winners of our annual art competition! Here (and in our December 2011 issue) we celebrate the winners from the Animal/Wildlife category. By Tamera Lenz Muente

First Place
Rose Edin
Venice, Florida •

Beauty and the Beast (watercolor, 26x36) by Rose Edin

Beauty and the Beast (watercolor, 26×36) by Rose Edin

Rose Edin composed her award-winning watercolor while conducting a plein air workshop in Egypt. Edin is co-owner of Art Adventures, which leads painting workshops all over the world.

Beauty and the Beast communicates the heat and light of the desert while playing up the abstract forms of the draped camels. “While at the pyramids last year, most of our group were riding camels,” she says. “I photographed the camels all decked out to provide a ride for their customers.” Edin cropped a portion of the photograph as the source for her watercolor and took liberties to remove figures, including a camel, to create a more interesting composition. While Edin sometimes paints animal subjects, she also enjoys creating florals, figures, landscapes and still lifes. “I like them all,” she says. “I’m mostly looking for shapes, values, textures and color in any painting.”

Edin’s palette for Beauty and the Beast included Winsor yellow, quinacridone gold, scarlet lake, permanent rose, cobalt blue, cadmium orange and cobalt green. “After drawing the subject, I used cobalt blue to create the overall value pattern on the entire painting, leaving the white of the paper for the lightest values,” she says. Once satisfied with the composition, she moved on to the camels’ colorful cloaks.

Edin has been teaching 7 to 10 workshops annually for the past 30 years and has authored several books on watercolor techniques. This painting also won an award in the 2011 American Watercolor Society Annual Exhibition in New York and will be included in its yearlong traveling show.

Second Place
Robert Bootier
Ballston Spa, New York •

Sienna (oil, 14x18) by Robert Bootier

Sienna (oil, 14×18) by Robert Bootier

The hound peering inquisitively from the sofa is Robert Bootier’s dog Sienna. Bootier captured the varying textures of upholstery and dog fur by carefully controlling his medium. “The biggest challenge for me is brush control,” he says. “I get into such detail that it requires a steady hand.” To create brushstrokes that followed the form and the direction of the fur, he used a mahlstick and sometimes both hands to hold the brush for steady, consistent strokes. Bootier uses the smallest brushes on hand, preferring the Princeton Mini Liner 20/0 for paintings such as Sienna, in which detail is important.

When photographing his subjects, he uses a tripod to ensure sharp and detailed reference pictures. Bootier prepares his surface by applying several layers of gesso, then sands the surface with a wet, fine-grit sanding sponge until it’s absolutely smooth. “I want to get an eggshell-like surface to work on,” he says. He sketches his subject with pencil first and then retraces the drawing with an ultra-fine Sharpie marker. Next he layers on the oil paint, mostly Old Holland, Winsor & Newton, RGH artists’ pigments and James C. Groves mediums, including copal varnish medium. To complete the painting, he builds up the textures, continuing to work from dark to light. “The highlights are the final touch,” says Bootier.

Third Place
Eileen F. Sorg
Kingston, WA •

Tea Service (ink, watercolor, colored pencil, 14x30) by Eileen F. Sorg

Tea Service (ink, watercolor, colored pencil, 14×30) by Eileen F. Sorg

Eileen Sorg brings her background in wildlife biology to her mixed media art. She depicts animals with precision and accuracy while presenting them in a surprising tableau. “The impetus behind Tea Service was really the crow and its relationship with its own environment and other birds,” she says. “I enjoy crows very much, but they can be the playground bullies at times, a bit pushy and overbearing.” In this painting, she turns typical crow behavior on its head. The large black bird bows to a tiny wren as another wren, holding a makeshift bridle in its mouth, rides on the crow’s back.

Sorg refers to photographs and objects set up in her studio, including a collection of feathers, bones and skulls. She works out her composition on newsprint and then, using a light table, transfers the line drawing to Arches 140-lb. hot-pressed paper. She applies ink with pens and brushes for the dark areas. “I then have my darkest darks (the ink) and lightest lights (the paper) already in place,” she says. After quickly applying watercolor for midtones, she moves into the final stage—rendering details with colored pencil—which she calls “the longest and most satisfying phase of the process.”

Continued on next page…

Tamera Lenz Muente is a freelance writer and assistant curator at the Taft Museum of Art in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Winners of The Artist’s Magazine’s 28th Annual Art Competition were featured in the December 2011 issue. Click here to purchase.

Click here to read “What the Jurors Said.”

Free preview
See an award-winning artists’ approach to wildlife. Click here for a link to a free preview of A Brush with Wildlife in Oils with Pip McGarry from


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