See how the chipmunk painting is done from start-to-finish with Dan Waltz.

How to paint a Chipmunk Demo by Artist Dan Waltz

Have you ever wondered how a painting is done? Are you a budding artist looking for tips? Look no further.



I started with a photo I took many years ago with my first digital camera, a Sony Mavaca 1.3 mega pixel camera.

It was actually good enough quality to enlarge to an 8x10 photo, but not until I added a couple of extra things

in Photoshop (moss and fern plant). This made for excellent reference material for the painting.


This painting didn't take much sketching, just a diagonal line for the log and a basic outline of the chipmunk

with a few detail markings for location. After drawing it out and transferring the lines to the watercolor board,

I cut out the background off the drawing and used it for a stencil (frisket) to block the paint from the airbrush

while I airbrushed the out of focus background. I wanted to keep the background really simple and blurry

to push the chipmunk to the forefront and really stand out.


This simply shows the mask that I cut out after spraying the background keeping the foreground

white for a clean painting surface. I normally would use shelf lining paper to cut the frisket out.

It has a sticky back so it stays stuck to the surface keeping all paint out. With this painting I

just hinged the paper template to the board so that it just floats above the board surface as I spray.

This gives me a softer edge, yet keeps the board fairly free of paint. This is a great technique

when painting fur over the airbrushed area, NO sharp edge to contend with.


After painting the background I then free handed the fern plant over the painted surface with
just a couple of light lines and begun to rough in the leaves of the plant.


With the fern plant roughed in I then started roughing in the log in the foreground.
Starting light then getting darker and darker with each detail.


Following the same steps I then started roughing the main character in, the furry chipmunk.
This was done with fine lines with very minimal washes.

Chipmunk by Wildlife Artist Dan Waltz

Adding more and more details to the fern, log and to the fur and finally adding green moss to the log.

Chipmunk by Wildlife Artist Dan Waltz

I finally added the final touches. Added a little more details here and there. More moss and a small
pile of sunflower seeds. A scene we all are all too familiar with. At least for everyone who had at one
time fed these friendly little creatures.


Hope you enjoyed.


See how it's done...Step-by-step, from start-to-finish.

Art Demonstrations by Dan Waltz!

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