Saturday, February 5, 2011


Red-breastedNuthatch (Sitta caadensis)

I've been spending a lot of time lately practicing my drawing skills and playing with paint rather than spending too much time blogging. I got sidetracked into oils recently, too, and have been enjoying a bit of landscape painting. Over the winter break from work I also did some landscapes in watercolor.

The painting above was started last December (the background) and I just completed the bird this morning--figured it had sat long enough! It is not one of my more successful bird paintings, but the more I look at it, the more I like it. I was trying to lose the detail fussiness I usually get caught up in and keep trying a more painterly approach. I was also using way more pigment than I usually do, making the colors very deep and saturated in some passages; I also used some white gouache for mixing and highlights. I also found that when viewed from a distance, it resolves itself a lot better. Hovering over it with reading glasses is not the best way to judge things!

I have a few more sketches I want to develop into paintings, so I guess I'd better sign off and get to it!

Here's one of the watercolor landscapes I did recently...

...and this is one I did a few years ago. I always considered it one of the finest sky washes I've ever done.

I finding painting to be very zen; it's meditative and sooooo relaxing. The only thing I like more is watching birds!

(speaking of which, this morning there was a Ruby-crowned Kinglet in the pear tree in front ad a Bewick's Wren singing in the bushes across the street. Such lovely singers!)

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