Friday, March 29, 2013

Little sanderlings skittered in front of the waves on the beach and I painted them quickly in watercolors. Later, I didn't "feel" the sanderlings, which had excited me at the beach. I decided to remove the color on the bird's head and back which was making it so heavy, dark and "slow". These are fast and delicate birds. The edges make this painting-the hue, shapes, and brushwork are common. So, watch how a painting can be worked and worked till it feels right. Note how the series of dots add motion.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Here is a page from my watercolor journal painted on Sanibel Island, FL. There are two distinct brush techniques. The top image, a Ruddy Turnstone, was made by applying paint. It became darker and darker. The brush is continually loaded with paint. The lower image, Sanderlings, has a different technique. First the paint is applied and then it is removed. I used a clean brush with water and scrubbed the paint off. It leaves beautiful "edges".
Some painters believe a great painting is all about edges!

Friday, March 8, 2013

            Here is a quick study of a Red Tail Hawk. What makes it interesting? Is it the shape of the bird or the shapes including the telephone pole? It is almost the right answer! The pole shows two sides and vaguely so does the hawk. Don't forget to add "sides" to clouds, beaches, rocks, mountains as well as birds and objects. Then they become "forms" and  three-D.
The hawk has a puffy chest because the gold brings if forward. The cool lavender paper recedes behind the image. Note how you don't mind the blotch/mistake. It is because you are not responsible for it! Be kind to your paintings and let them have flaws-they are like our friends and ourselves!                              

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Here is a simple dark and light watercolor. Indigo for the background set off by lemon yellows. They are in the cool range of colors and therefore analogous colors. Touches of pinks and ochres add the warmth that a painting needs to be embraced.
Try painting any image against a dark rich background. Your in good company, Winslow Homer loved it too.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

This little house wren was flirting behind leaves and hard to see. Painting it this way creates the habitat and context and relaxes the often stiff composition from a bird out of its habitat or with nothing in front of it.
Using the same values in both the bird and brush enhances its mystique. We don't call them little grey(brown) birds for nothing.