Spinafex Pigeon

Spinafex pigeon. Michele Clamp. Watercolor 10”x8”

I don’t usually do preparatory sketches for the birds. Most of the design work can be done just by making a good choice of pose. Something that’s characteristic of the bird but also makes a good shape and pattern of light and dark. This time I thought I’d try something different and start with a rough watercolor sketch=. This is what came out.

Yeah right. I mostly learned what not to do in the final painting but maybe that’s the point?

Anyway – after a rocky start I was very happy with the final painting.

Martial Eagle – People’s Choice Winner!

I’ve been working larger on the last couple of paintings. Having seen my sunflowers up on the wall at Post Road Art and visiting the North East Watercolor Exhibition I can certainly afford some more paper real estate.

Going large has it’s own problems. Getting too tight and detailed is one. Not using a big enough brush and ending up with lots of little dabby strokes is another. Also the larger space allows you to put in much stronger color. In fact it needs it otherwise things look very washed out.

So this eagle looks pretty good to me. I may revisit and soften up some edges but it’ll depend what it looks like in the morning.

Edit: Great news! This won the People’s Choice award at
Marlborough’s Post Road Art Center Open Exhibit

. A nice Christimas present for me and I’m sure I’ll be stocking up on supplies from them with the prize money. Many thanks to all who voted and Randi et al at the Center.

Martial Eagle


19”x13”/24”x18” matted.

Many thanks to all who voted for this at the Post Road Art Center. He won the People’s Choice award!

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Owl Finished

At least I think this is finished.   As usual I’ll keep him on the easel for a couple of days until I’m happy that no touchups are needed.    Due to travelling and other happenings t’s been a couple of weeks since I painted and it took me a little while to get back in the groove.   I like the end result though – not too cute but with a certain perkiness.    He’s up for sale in the usual place.

A few intermediates.   Unusually this one was done over two days.  Not sure if that helps.

This was the status at the end of yesterday.    I usually don’t put in the eyes so early on birds but I was having a little trouble with values so put them in so I could judge the rest of the plumage.   Happy so far.

Quite a bit further on here.   The feet have gone in – always a bit tense here but they turned out fine.   The branch is in and I tightened up the feathers around the face.

The final thing.   I beefed up the wing feathers to give him a little more zing and added a little interest into the background.   Job done.

Back to the birds!

It’s been a while and now there’s a new house,  new painting room and lots of other stuff.   Most is now under control and I’ve been neglecting the birds for too long.
As it’s the holiday season – a robin!
Edit:  Reusing this as a quick fill in for Leslie Sears’s 30 in 30.  December paintings are ok for use in January yes?