I started this yesterday and was in two minds as to which way it would go. As it turned out it wasn’t a disaster but not a triumph either. I had quite a lot of trouble with the trees and in hindsight I should have cropped closer. Not a bad effort though.
The nice thing about painting is that you get to choose what to paint. And sometimes there’s no real rhyme nor reason to it – you just fancy painting a subject in a certain style. And so here we are with a penguin. Just a penguin. I wanted him quite large – this is 20”x16” and I consciously tightened up the painting to give a smoother, more finished feel. I originally wanted to put more texture into the white fur with splashes and backruns and maybe some salt but that idea was jettisoned pretty quickly. Very enjoyable doing this one. The large size really helped – gives me some elbow room to push the paint around. I think I’ll be doing some more along these lines.
Feels a bit strange going back to the birds. I’ve been doing so many tightly composed city and landscape scenes that a single bird on the page feels like something is missing. That’s not to say that it’s easier though. Getting the pose right and tying the body to the plain(ish) background still take quite a bit of thought.
He came out rather handsomely though I think.
Edit: Forgot an intermediate photo.
This was after the drawing and the first wash being careful to brush through the outlines to create some fuzziness in the edges and to tie the bird to the white background.
Why not do a bird I thought. It’s been quite a while since I’ve done a bird and they’re so much easier than complicated city scenes. Well I was wrong on the last part. This gave me all sorts of trouble but a lot of it came together at the end.
I often have time to sketch in airports. It passes the time and the planes are lovely shapes to draw. The extra gubbins around them is also interesting. Even though this was an overcast day the contrast of the gray tarmac really shows off the shape of the plane.
Stylistically something different. Much tighter than usual and it gave me all sorts of trouble. I had one of those – ‘it’s ruined so I can’t make it any worse’ moments yesterday. But I soldiered on and it came together quite well.
James and I have spent many evenings in the basement of Redbones. Brisket and enormous beers – happy days.
Just one intermediate today: This was at the end of the first session and I was somewhat glum
Still in Orchard Beach and a snowy picture of the ferris wheel. I wanted this to be somewhat subdued but maybe dialed it back too much. Has a nice touch to it though.
Some intermediates :
The drawing. Oh the ellipses! And the perspective! Thankfully everything meshes together in the painting if painted loosely enough.
Next the initial washes. A light sky and fairly grayed out tones for the buildings. The wheel is lightly touched in leaving areas of white to break up the lines.
More darks to add some solidity to the structures and more detail in the wheel. Still keeping a light touch.
The final thing. A little more detail on the fence and some loose work to define the foreground and we’re done. In hindsight I would probably have punched up the color a little more but I’m happy as is.
The original photo. I remember it being extremely cold.