Summer is almost done and we are starting up homeschool next week, so I wanted to take the time to post my latest piece along with some thoughts and progress photos showing my process.
I definitely had a different mindset for this one.
I was aiming for something a little looser, less refined. More impressionistic, I guess.
Anyway, I hope you enjoy it! 🙂
FIRST MY REFERENCE: I took this photo in my front yard.
I think the photo is beautiful. But that’s a problem for me because as beautiful as this photo is, I am NOT into copying for the sake of realism. It’s just not my style.
As I grow and change as an artist, I find that I enjoy leaving some things to the IMAGINATION when I create a piece. I am not a camera and my eyes and brain don’t see the same way a camera lens does!
I also think it’s important to leave room for the viewer’s imagination—to suggest some things and let the viewer fill in the rest.
This approach INVITES rather than CONTROLS and let’s the viewer engage with the art.
PROGRESS PHOTOS & PROCESS
After selecting my reference, I began to do some expoloration—probably more exploration than I’ve done to prepare than for any other work!
First, I did a simple charcoal study to get a feel for the subject and composition…doesn’t look like much and isn’t meant to!
Next, I did a simple line drawing for use on my larger paper.
Once I had a feel for the subject, I uploaded my sketch to iPastels to do a more in-depth monochrome study.
Now I was ready to move on to a color study. In the original reference (top), if you look closely you can see lots of green from the vegetation as well as yellowish reflected light. I wasn’t too keen about either, instead preferring to leave the background abstract and focus on all of the beautiful neutrals of the dove.
After completing the color study, my next step was to play around with the background.
Remember, I wanted something loose that wouldn’t compete with the bird itself, so I uploaded the above image into iPastels and tried out different backgrounds…a real time saver and easy way to compare backgrounds side-by-side without wasting materials!
I finally decided on the top right (blueish) background, and tested it out on the bottom left corner of the photo.
With my color and value studies to guide me, I began my painting on Pastelmat paper using a variety of soft pastels.
By the time I got to the stage in the above photo, I knew I needed to let my painting sit for a few days so that I could look at it with fresh eyes later.
So….after many days of life getting in the way 🙂 , I made a few white board notes of things I might want to change.
And Finally, the finished piece:
Sorry this one was so long, but thanks for coming on this wonderful artistic journey with me!
I hope you enjoyed this post. Please leave your comments in the comment section.
Well, here we are in the middle of autumn with Thanksgiving just a blink away. The birds who fly south for the winter are well on their way. I don’t know about you, but last winter was sooooooooooo long that I developed a real appreciation for spring, sunshine, longer days, and the return of our friends at the bird feeder.
So here is my ode to spring–an American Robin sighted in our pasture way back in spring of this year. Here’s hoping that this winter will be shorter and without any “polar vortices”!
Winsor & Newton watercolor markers, Micron Pigma ink, and water brush in 8 1/4 x 5 Moleskine sketchbook.
This little sparrow was a lot of fun to draw and paint!
I was drawn to his slightly grouchy expression which I managed to photograph through the window of our home. He warily watched me as he sat guarding his family’s nest from the top of a birch birdhouse hanging on our front porch.
The initial drawing was done with a Pigma Micron pen on Winsor & Newton watercolor marker paper. Then I used Winsor & Newton Watercolor Markers and a waterbrush to add colored washes.