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Painting of The Bronze Cowboy

Work In Progress – The Bronze Cowboy

This is bronze artist extraordinaire, Don Hershberger. Don is 55 years old when I painted him in 2008. He lives in nearby, Clark, Wyoming. Don has lived the lived of a cowboy here in Wyoming for many, many years but he has always found the time to create. His bronze work consists of cowboys, horses, Native Americans and wild animals from the area. One other interesting fact about Don is that he is a cowboy preacher. Here is day one. I posed Don on his ranch in Clark. He is holding his favorite lasso, leaning against his classic buck rail fence. The piece is traditional oils on Ampersand, Gessobord Masonite. The overall size is 18" x 24". Here is a close-up of his face. Here is day two's work. The hand and shirt are still pretty rough. These are two items that I have to let set up over night then work all the detail on top the next day. I spent most of the day detailing Don's shirt and hand and I am still not quite done. There is still quite a bit of detailing to do once the paint dries more, stitches, highlights and so on. Day four.…

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Ernie Stautner Hall of Fame

Work In Progress – Ernie Stautner – Hall of Fame

This is Hall of Famer, Ernie Stauter. He played for the Pittsburgh Steelers from 1950 to 1963. After retiring as a player, Stautner joined the Dallas Cowboys as an Assistant Coach. He helped coach the team to two Super Bowl titles in 1971 and 1977. Stautner is credited with developing some of the greatest defensive lineman in Cowboy's history, including Randy White and Ed "Too Tall" Jones. Stautner also served as an Assistant with the Steelers, Washington Redskins and Denver Broncos. This is a photograph of Ernie and Pittsburgh Steeler Owner, Dan Rooney the day his #70 jersey was retired. He is the only Steeler to have that honor. Here is day one. This is an 11" x 14" portrait done in pencil. Here is the piece as it laid on my drawing desk. This shows my heavy-weight illustration board taped off. You can see the reference photo that I worked from along with my German Faber-Castell 4B, 6B and 8B drawing pencils, kneaded eraser and blending stick. Here is a close-up of the first day's work. This is day two. Day three. Day four. Day five. Here I am removing the drafting tape from the final. This gives the…

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Steeler Great, Donnie Shell

Work In Progress – Steeler Great, Donnie Shell

This is my latest painting. It is Pittsburgh Steeler, Donnie Shell. He was part of the four Super Bowl teams from the 1970's. He was also one of the original Steel Curtain members. This is a commission piece that I am doing for Art Rooney, Jr., owner of the Steelers. The painting will be made into a collector card which will be a limited edition of 1000. The painting is traditional oils on Museum-grade Masonite. The overall size is 16" x 20". Here is day two of my painting of Steeler, Donnie Shell. I finished detailing his face and started laying down the base coat for his jersey. The front of the jersey, #31 and arm stripes coming next. Here is day three of my painting of Steeler, Donnie Shell. I reworked his face slightly and started to detail his jersey. Getting close now. Still a lot of detailing on the arms and the pants. Here is the fifth version. I spent several hours detailing his left arm and hand. I added more detail to his pants and jersey. One other thing that I did, which is hard to see here, I painted in all the stitches around the #31.…

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Painting of Gordon Bond-Shiloh

Work In Progress – Gordon Bond as Shiloh Jasper Green

This is my good friend, Gordon Bond of Land Of Lakes, Florida. Shiloh Jasper Green as he calls himself, is a member of S.A.S.S aka the Single Action Shooting Society that is a national group who are quick draw artists and shooting competitors. Here is day one. This is a 16" x 20" portrait with the background roughed in. I am painting with traditional oils. This painting is on museum-grade Masonite made by Ampersand. It has a white, textured clay surface and covered with white gesso. Here is day two. I had managed to get Gordon's face all roughed in. Here is a close up of Gordon's face after smoothing his facial tones with a dry brush. My wife Leigh took the reference photograph that I used to paint from. If you closely at Gordon's right eye, you will clearly see the beautiful orange sunset, trees and sky reflected there. Day three. I have roughed in the base coat for Gordon's bandana and metal star concho. Here is day four. You can see that I have painted in my basecoat for the shirt and vest. Day five. I laid down what are the heavy shadow areas of the shirt and…

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Painting of No Time for Flowers

Work In Progress – No Time for Flowers

The piece is 16" x 20" overall. It is painted in acrylics on a 1/8" thick museum-grade Masonite, Ampersand Claybord. It has a white, slightly textured Gesso-covered clay surface. It is pH Neutral and acid-free. One other advantage of the Masonite Claybord over a stretched canvas is that is very durable and a lot more stable. Another advantage to these boards is that they are all ready for paint without prepping them in any way. Here we go. Leigh took a fantastic photograph of a massive buffalo bull plodding through the famous Hayden Valley of Yellowstone National Park in September of 2005. I located another shot of Hayden Valley that I liked and put here buffalo bull into it. Here is the first day's work with the sky completed. This is day two. In the background are lodge-pole pines, native to the park and the distant rolling hills added. Here I have the buffalo roughed in. I have been told that I do have some strange artistic techniques. I create in pieces. I do try to finish off the areas as I go, but I am a realist in another sense. I do go back in and re-work all the…

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Waycie Roundstone, Grass Dancer

Work In Progress – Waycie Roundstone, Grass Dancer

In the summer of 2008, Leigh and I had the ultimate privilege to attend our first dance Pow Wow in Cody. It was held and sponsored by the Buffalo Bill Historical Center. The Grass Dance style is a very old dance rich in history that has become very popular. In the old days, it was the job of the grass dancers to flatten the grass in the arena before a Pow Wow. The name grass does not come from the stomping of grass, but it comes from the old habit of tying braids of sweet grass to the dancer's belts, producing a swaying effect. Today, Grass Dancers resemble a multicolored swaying mass of yarn or fringe on the dance floor. The Grass Dance is a very fluid and bendable style, with the dancers trying to move their fringe in as many places as possible at once. The Grass Dance style was born in the North, but its popularity has spread South, and now this beautiful style is available for everyone. The regalia of a Grass Dancer is very different from most other styles. The head gear is much the same: roach, spreader, and maybe a beaded headband. One primary difference…

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Mountain Man Castle Rock

Work In Progress – Mountain Man of Castle Rock

OK children, gather around, it's time for a history lesson! As you look out our front window here on the Lower South Fork of the Shoshone River, which faces southwest, you see the famous landmark, called Castle Rock about three miles away. It juts up from the valley floor and stands all by itself. It rises several hundred above the floor of the valley. Castle Rock actually climbs to 6,010 feet above sea level. Here at the ranch we are about 5300 feet above sea level to give you an idea how high it is. As the Castle Rock sign says: "John Colter, famed among the famous breed of Mountain Men, passed this landmark late in the fall of 1807 while on business for the fur trader Manual Lisa. Searching for Indians in order to conduct trade, he also hunted salt caves reputedly located near the headwaters of this stream then known as the stinking water." On his journey, Colter not only discovered this later named Shoshone River but he also became the first recorded white man to visit the upper Wind River, Jackson's Hole and Yellowstone Park. His lonely trek, compounding the normal dangers of savage wilderness by mid…

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“Beyond the Goalpost” by former Pittsburgh Steeler, Andy Russell

“Beyond the Goalpost” by former Pittsburgh Steeler, Andy Russell

In October 2009, Denny had the privilege of creating all the cover graphics for former Pittsburgh Steeler, Andy Russell's new book titled Beyond The Goalpost. Denny's oil painting of Andy was featured along with a photograph of Three Rivers Stadium taken by photographer, David B. King from Washington D.C. The foreword was written by the famous Hall of Fame member, running back and former Pittsburgh Steeler, Franco Harris.The back cover features this famous photograph of Former Steeler Linebackers, Jack Ham, Jack Lambert and Andy Russell. This photograph was taken to showcase what is still an NFL Record. These three linebackers went to 24 Pro Bowls! This is Andy's third book. The inside front cover flap reads in his own words: Andy has always been attracted to athletic challenge, adventure and possibly even danger. In this book Andy tries to understand what it was that drove him as a young child, and to recall who were his mentors and especially ask himself why he was so driven to pursue what many would consider dangerous sporting activities - for example: professional football, mountain climbing, wilderness canoeing, cave exploring, and scuba diving. In some ways this book could be considered a biography as…

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Andy Russel #34 Painting

Art Institute of Pittsburgh Alumni Show 2009

Denny has been invited to show two of his pieces of artwork for the 2009 Annual Alumni Show at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. Denny's two pieces of art are the original oil painting of former Pittsburgh Steeler, Andy Russell and a pencil study of Hall of Famer and former Pittsburgh Steeler, "Bullet" Bill Dudley. Both pieces are on loan by Art Rooney, Jr., owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers. The dates of the show will be from October 5th through November 27th, 2009 and the reception will be held on Friday, November 20th in the evening.

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Painting of Last of the Real Cowboys

Work In Progress – Last of the Real Cowboys

This is someone else who quickly became a good friend that I met early in 2008. His name is Gene Hartung. Gene lives right across the Buffalo Bill Dam from us in Cody, Wyoming. My wife, Leigh ran into him in downtown Cody. Leigh knows exactly the kind of faces I am constantly on the lookout for. She immediately asked him if he would pose for me. He told her how my mentor, James Bama, had asked him that very same question several years earlier. Gene agreed to pose for Bama, but what a shame that Bama never painted him! His loss was my gain. During a driving snow storm in 2008, we did my photo shoot at his log home. I actually posed him in the exact same clothes Bama did, except for a different shirt. Gene had a favorite saddle as a young cowboy. It had completely worn out and was long gone by then. Since the Bama shoot, Gene had taken up saddle making. He wanted to make an exact copy of his own saddle, and that he set out to do. He had never made a saddle before. Working totally from memory, he actually made four…

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