After the stress of completing and submitting a show piece with only hours to go I relaxed with a robin. Actually it was quite stressful. Birds like robins with oval bodies and stumpy beaks can be tricky to paint with character. Half way through it was almost a bust but managed to salvage something in the end.
Something sleek with dramatic darks and whites. I’m finding it less satisfying to paint small these days. I’m feeling the need for larger areas with broader brushstrokes and interesting color variations. But this small one is pretty good nonetheless.
Today somehow was owl day. I wanted to try something a little different and see if I could introduce a background successfully. I wanted to put color in but have a lot of interest in the largely uniform grass region. I think I’m pretty happy. The owl itself came out well and the whole thing has a liveliness and sense of the windy day it was. The gloved arm is James - we were in England and had a great time flying owls at Leeds Castle.
Oystercatchers. Michele Clamp. Watercolor. 11”x14”
I really wasn’t sure how this was going to come out. Bushy feathers like this are very easy to overwork but I ended up with a good balance of loose brushwork and detail. Not bad.
I’m trying to keep up with the facebook page Paint Colorful Birds for Fun and this week (week 5) is the ostrich. I tried to keep some life in the darks but keep the white feathers distinct and fluffy. I think it’s pretty much there.
It’s been about a year since I did a snowy owl. I had the chance to do a live demo at Maine Audubon in January 2018 which was great fun. I didn’t really feel that I’d done the subject justice so I wanted to have another go.
I think he came out very well. The blues and grays define the wings and feathers well without getting too dark and the wings and body have a lovely rhythmic shape to them. Phew!
It’s that time of year again. It’s the Post Road Art “It’s in the bag” competition. $33 gets you a bag of materials and you have to work your magic to create something. This year it was a doozy! This is what we got :
Prominent in the bag were materials for making poured acrylic paintings. Now this is something I have absolutely no experience with. After a bit of googling and YouTubing I worked out that you put a lot of paint in a cup, pour it onto a board, shoogle it around a bit, drop in some alcohol ink and voila! Painting.
It’s a lot harder than it looks.
I got paint everywhere. On the table, up my nose (!) on my tea mug, everywhere. This is what I finally ended up with :
Kinda cool but I don’t think I’ll be doing a lot more of it. And what I forgot was that these things take days to dry so I didn’t even get to enter it into the competition.
So what to do? Birds of course! I first thought of a peacock but after trying I wasn’t happy. I next thought of a toucan which seemed like a better bet but I messed up the beak which blew out into a big purple splodge. This one ended up being the poured one above.
After coming back to the peacock I decided I quite liked it so it was one of my entries. Since I didn’t have anything to lose I tried the toucan again in a more traditional manner and he came out quite well. Here he is :
Phew - all framed up and submitted. Why do I always leave these things to the last minute?
Sometimes things just work. I wanted the colors to be muted on this one so the stance of the bird, its markings and reflections stood out. And it all came together. Happy camper.