Panoramic Penguin Watercolor Painting – The Study

penguin watercolor painting
Panoramic Penguin Watercolor Painting Study. Michele Clamp. 6″x17″

Today was time to get back to the penguin watercolor painting. I had a piece of paper ready cut but it had curled too much to paint on. So while I was waiting for it to flatten out overnight I used the offcut to do a quarter size test study. This is 6″x17″ and the final thing will be 32″x11/5″ which will be a pretty big scale up.

I’d done some sketching out of the composition on the ipad a couple of nights ago and was pretty happy. Everything is out of my head and from experience of previous paintings. I’m still wondering whether a few extra penguins will make their way in there but it hangs together pretty well so far.

ipad composition sketch for watercolor penguins
ipad composition sketch

First the drawing.

penguin drawing
Penguin drawing

Looks ok so far. The shapes are good. There’s lots of overlapping shapes and the background cliffs tie everything together horizontally.

Now into the painting.

penguin watercolor painting first stage
Penguin painting first stage

The sky went in ok. I was thinking of maybe masking the cliffs but in the end it wasn’t an issue. The darks of the penguins look good. Not a lot of detail here. All the work is being done by the shapes.

penguin watercolor painting second stage
Penguin painting second stage

I’m pretty far along here. Everything went pretty straightforwardly. Just goes to show what a bit of planning can do. I’m still wondering whether to add in a couple more penguins on the right. And those two wings in the center two penguins are a little too similar so that might change.

And the final thing

penguin watercolor painting final
Penguin watercolor painting – final

Penguins! A pair of!

Penguins. Michele Clamp. Watercolor. 11”x14”

I needed a bit of a break from constant cityscapes (and the wretched Harvard Yard fiasco) and class is coming up tomorrow so why not a couple of penguins? Not quite as loose as I would usually do which could be due to me videoing the whole thing and I was more cautious than usual. Turned out well though – very happy.

Many thanks to
Martin Fuchs and pixaby

for the photo.

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Outstretched Penguin

Outstretched Penguin. Michele Clamp. Watercolor. 20”x16”

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.