For the final day of the bird drawing class, we were lucky enough to have access to mounted birds from the collection of the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. Some of these were absolutely gorgeous. A few were moth eaten or had been passed around to a few too many people. The dates on these specimens went back decades. But having a bird that will sit still while you draw is a real thrill.
Look at the back claws on this baby! The name, meadowlark, sounds so pastoral, but those claws bring to mind cockfighting. Perhaps the birds just need a really strong anchor on a branch on windy days?
The course was drawing, not painting. Imagine how much fun this would be in full color. I took several snapshots and am hoping to move on to the watercolors of him/her soon.
For the past few weeks, I have been taking a bird drawing class at our local botanical Gardens. I have never taken a botanical class before. Back when I got my degree in art ed, the focus was on abstract. Being figurative was regarded as a sure sign of repressed creativity. I recall one painting professor who would hold all night painting sessions so that we could learn to ‘paint loose’. His true preferred painting technique was to throw paint at the canvas.
It has been a huge surprise to find myself in a drawing course where the focus is on being really, really really tight. Last week we focused on wings and feet. Below is one of my wings. We were encouraged to count and number the feather so that we got each one correct and in the right place. All that I can say is that there are a boatload of feathers just on one wing!
Continuing experiments with acrylic paints. I have been using matte medium, since I don’t like the sheen and plastic-feel of acrylics. I could use Acrylic gouache, but I am not wild about the lack of intensity of the colors in most acrylic gouache – and there is the cost. Why is acrylic gouache so darned expensive???
For the second year in a row, we have bluebirds nesting in a house attached to the outside of our screened deck. They are great birds to watch, particularly the way their color changes in the sunlight.
Well, it’s not actually raining in the painting, but it has been raining here for 5 days straight, which is odd since I am neither in Seattle nor London. The good news is that I have gotten a lot of painting done while being stuck inside. This is the first of a series of 8″ x 8″ paintings in gouache.
Life just gets busy. I have been working on a new series of paintings this past month. All of them are watercolor birds with gouache patterned backgrounds.
Gouache is not the easiest medium to take up. Trying to blend gouache tends to give chalky, stiff messes. But I am finding that I am enjoying creating bold patterened backgrounds, which are in contrast to the more realistic bid paintings. This bird is a bit of a fantasy. I started out with a flicker and then just went astray with hte colored feathers.
#InkTober Day 4, although it has a bit more watercolor than ink. Let’s just say that the ink was quite deliberate; especially I am still waiting for some truly waterproof carbon ink for my fountain pens to arrive in Chapel Hill from China. Meanwhile, I am using dip pens and not waterproof ink, applied after the watercolor has dried.
It’s a Rogues Gallery of Cats. Who knows what they are really up to! Even though it is June, not December, I am wishing for santa baby to bring me a wide format scanner, as this image is only about 2/3 of the painting. There is a landscape on the bottom that had to be cropped out.