This month’s featured artist is Bob Kuhn. He’s my go-to recommendation for anyone looking for acrylic painting inspiration. Master acrylic painters are few and far between. It seems like most people who start with acrylics eventually migrate to oils for their increased versatility. That’s what I did many years ago. But Kuhn demonstrates you can stick with acrylics and do incredibly well.
Kuhn dedicated his life to painting animals in their natural environments. What strikes me about his work is how well he captured the essence and character of each animal. He’s one of the best to do it.
Here are some other observations about his work:
- He used simplified brushwork rather than painting every strand of hair.
- He used the landscape to complement the animals in terms of color and contrast. The painting below is a great example.
- He had a knack for capturing movement. This comes down to a strong understanding of anatomy and being able to convey the idea of tension and release. He also typically captured animals performing a dramatic movement. See the painting below, with the eagle having to pivot to chase the darting fox.
The video below gives some insight into Kuhn’s painting process. He starts with a pencil drawing, then paints segment by segment with careful brushwork.
Here’s a great interview with Bob Kuhn from 1997. This gives more insight into his mindset, career, and personality.
Here are some of his other paintings:
Here are some links about his life and work:
Sporting Classics Daily – Bob Kuhn, Wildlife Artist Extraordinaire
Jackson Hole Art Auction – Bob Kuhn
Draw Paint Academy
4 thoughts on “Artist of the Month: Bob Kuhn”
This introduction to Bob Kuhn is exactly what I needed to see. Thank you.
Canadian master artist Robert Bateman also paints mainly in acrylic and is very prolific in wildlife, nature and the environment. Please do a review of the works of this Artist of the Month.
I appreciate that you have recently shared a watercolor artists and now acrylic. Bob Kuhn’s paintings are outstanding with incredible detail. He has captured the intensity of the wild, which I aspire to develop as a painter. Thank you for sharing.
Thanks for sharing Bob Kuhn. I Kew Robert Bateman but not Mr. Kuhn. I paint with acrylics because of skin allergies to oil cleaners. Seeing excellent realism in acrylics is inspiring.