Saturday, October 15, 2016

Evolution of a Bluejay Painting

I love painting birds-little calligraphic marks sometimes make a wonderful little painting in a few seconds. For a full size more accurate image I really take my time-sketching to get the markings and beak and body right, and color studies, and wash swatches to stay loose and let the paint do its thing.

 Lightly outlined in pencil to get the shape, then I erase some marks so I'm not "coloring in the lines". Then I can start with the eye and first washes.
 Putting in just enough marks to identify his distinctive feathers and face
His tail is added. A few loose swishes then little marks when dry. And then-arrgh!- I never composed what he was going to be perched on. How to finish this.  Decisions decisions. I didn't want to ruin or take much away from his image by getting all branchy. His tummy needed defining. And what direction should a branch go in? I didn't want to cut him in half and lines are very powerful in a painting. They take your eyes either to or away from your subject and can be distracting if not placed correctly.

I got out my trusty little piece of acetate to place over the bird, and experimented.  This gave me peace of mind to create a "just enough" branch to finish him on. Next time I'll prepare a little more so I don't have to struggle so much, but this worked out okay.

I might add some more smudges to the background but will let this guy-and me-rest and see if he's done. A mat may be all that's needed.
What do you think?

1 comment:

Judy said...

I love seeing your steps! That acetate is a wonderful idea, I'll try that.