Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Art Review - "Pastor de Cabras, Neo Mexicano" by W. Herbert Dunton

A few weeks ago, I shared a painting from early in W. Herbert Dunton's illustration career. For today's #MuseumTourTuesday, I'd like to share a much more refined and stylized work by the very same artist at the Albuquerque Museum.

"Pastor de Cabras, Neo Mexicano (New Mexican Goatherder)" • W. Herbert Dunton
• Oil on Canvas • 1926

What initially strikes me about this piece is the theatrical lighting of the scene. As the central element, the boy emerges from the shadows to be mostly bathed in light, while the goats and the dog are only partially revealed. Other than a few small areas revealing livestock, the background is also subdued in shadow.

"Pastor de Cabras, Neo Mexicano (New Mexican Goatherder)” Detail
 • W. Herbert Dunton • Oil on Canvas • 1926

Notice the careful control of the brushwork in the dog’s coat. The strokes mostly follow the forms, creating an extremely stylized effect.

"Pastor de Cabras, Neo Mexicano (New Mexican Goatherder)” Detail
 • W. Herbert Dunton • Oil on Canvas • 1926

The goats are similarly stylized, with outlines adding to the sense of form in the head and horns.
 
Dunton’s mastery of illustration technique continues to influence his work even at this late stage of his career. Notice how he uses dabs of thicker paint to call attention to specific elements, such as the highlight on the boy’s nose. Also of note, the rich red reflected color in in the face near the ear, adding more form to the head.

"Pastor de Cabras, Neo Mexicano (New Mexican Goatherder)” Detail
 • W. Herbert Dunton • Oil on Canvas • 1926

Painting photos by Saunders Fine Arts.

© Patrick and Kimberly Saunders, Patrick Saunders Fine Arts, 2022. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s authors/owners is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Patrick Saunders for painted works, or to Kimberly Saunders for photographs and/or videos, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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