Interview with wildlife artist Richard Oswald |

Interview with wildlife artist Richard Oswald

Marie Nygren
Richard Oswald is a wildlife artist. His 26 original paintings are in an exclusive show at WNC Fallon gallery.

Meet the artist

Richard Oswald is an amazingly accomplished, talented artist. Since 1992 he has created 26 wildlife paintings. The WNC Fallon gallery is hosting his opening/reception from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Thursday.

Richard Oswald is a wildlife artist. His 26 original paintings are in an exclusive show at WNC Fallon gallery.

Q: How long have you been painting?

R: Since 1992 I have been painting. I have thousands and thousands of hours invested.

Q: Who are your greatest influences?

R: Robert Batemen and Carl Brenders influenced me as their work is pristine with extreme realism, and accuracy of anatomy and texture. I was working for a mechanical engineering firm and one of my coworkers, a carver, introduced me to these wildlife artists. After seeing their art, I asked myself, “How can ANYONE paint anything so beautiful?” It started me on a journey to try.

Q: Do you have a formal education or are you self taught?

R: I am self taught. I struggled and suffered mightily mixing colors and creating the correct textures. I would draw and then paint over points of reference. It was very frustrating for a long time. Through successes and many mistakes I learned. My studies in art are continual.

Q: Did you ever meet Robert Batemen or Carl Brenders?

R: I met Robert Batmen when I took his painting clinic. It was an overwhelming experience and at first nothing made sense until much later. It gave me tremendous motivation to succeed.

Q: Why do you paint wildlife?

R: I grew up in Montana and was around all the different wild animals. I grew to have a keen appreciation of their grace and behavior. As a hunter, I was able to watch and study their anatomy. Books showing correct anatomy, and photos taken in the field helped with accuracy. Sometimes I had to look at hundreds of photos of an elk leg or the horn of a sheep.

Q: What is your technique?

R: The most important things I do is layer after layer of colors, save the details for last, zero into one small area at a time, (approaching it like a jigsaw puzzle), and have tremendous amounts of patience. Even the smallest area can take days, like on foot or eye. It is important to give the painting the time it needs. I feel inspired by God and his creation as I paint.

Q: What is your biggest challenge?

R: It is always LIGHT! Getting the source of light and shadows correct and aiming for the right consistency. Color mixing, matching, and layering can occupy thousands of hours.

Q: What is your favorite painting?

R: I love the eagle painting and consider it my best quality piece. Eagles are grandeur and are the national bird. Because I watched and grew up around pheasants on a Montana farm, my familiarity and appreciation of them is great. And after years of hunting, the mule deer is also a favorite.

Q: What is your next goal?

R: I want to create a website and offer prints for sale. After I retire, I definitely want to paint more often, mostly wildlife. I have a kestrel to finish painting.

Q: Thank you for your time. And best wishes with your future endeavors.