A Soft, Blue, Mighty Hunter

I have been having so much fun in my studio lately!  I’ve decided that if I keep up this pace I will proclaim 2016 “The Year of Production”.  Barring any major situations this year, I foresee that it will be.

I know I introduced you to Impending Doom and thought you’d like to see the cause of “doom” at this point, Mr. (or Mrs–I’m not sure) Blue Heron.  I am ALMOST done–I say that because I’m not yet happy with the value contrast in the feathers on the upper part of its body.  I rarely glaze any parts of my paintings but in this case, I believe I’ll have to let it dry and go in with a little glaze.  Of course, you will have an opportunity to see the final product.

Blue Heron almost done
Almost done!  (This is obviously at an angle)

I have discovered that one of the best ways for me to really “see” what changes need to be made in my paintings, is to take a photo of it.  For some reason, it becomes fresh to me.  As I look at this photo of my painting I discover things like a dot, floating below the chin of the bird, that has to be removed.  I also notice that there is a thin whitish line that intersects with the top of his head, part of the cloud, that needs to be softened or removed.  I make mental notes of those things and if there are lots of things that need changed, I make actual, physical notes.  I’m pretty sure I’ll remember those.

Brush and BH
Almost done!

As you can see here, there is very little contrast in the feathers, which means, there is no depth (If you squint your eyes the surface looks flat).  I tried to add a darker value but because the paint was wet it just wanted to blend in and get messy.  Titanium white is mixed in with these colors and white always takes longer to dry, so I’ll have to wait until at least Saturday to be able to come back in and fix it.

BH eye closeup

 

 

 

You can possibly see a little better what I was talking about regarding the dot in the yellow area and the white line in the clouds, intersecting the birds head.

The remainder of the painting is coming along well and will be featured in my next blog.  Besides working on this piece I prepped four canvases for painting and completed this smaller painting called Reigning Kinglets.  It’s a 24X30″ painting on gallery wrap canvas.  While walking my dog up on the trails at Lewisville Park I “saw” this painting in my head.  I’d taken the drippy branches reference picture a couple of years ago and had saved it thinking they needed to be painted.  As I walked along, past a flock of Kinglets flitting and floating along the trail with me and in the branches of the trees, I thought, “That would be cool to use those branches, dripping with rain, add Kinglets and name it Reigning Kinglets.”  Here it is–Until next time–happy birding!

 

8 thoughts on “A Soft, Blue, Mighty Hunter

  1. They’re good hunters and this one looks very focused. They don’t always hunt in water though. I once watched a great blue heron in the low cut grassy field of a park acting like it was stalking something carefully before suddenly thrusting its bill into the ground and pulling up a small mammal, maybe a mole.

    • You’re right. They do like to hunt in fields as well. I had a similar experience but it caught a snake. It was interesting watching it flip the snake around then eat it. I even got good pictures of it.

  2. It’s inspiring to be an invisible guest in your studio and to “watch” you correct, improve and bring life to your beautiful work. Lovely, lovely, lovely.

  3. haha! Found you again! What a beautiful painting, and one of my favorites–the blue heron. My husband and I were just bird watching last weekend and got to see one catch his lunch! Praying for you this morning, and wondered how the new family adoption as progressed. Blessings!

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