Sunday, February 8, 2009

Dowitchers and Kinglets

The beautiful watercolors of Lars Jonsson and an uncooperative Ruby-crowned Kinglet, both mentioned yesterday, conspired together to get me to start a new watercolor today. The kinglet made another brief appearance but did so while I was busy with something else so I couldn't draw him. Rather than sit staring out the window waiting for him or other birds to appear at the feeder so I could work from life I decided to go back to working from photos.

I looked again at the Jonsson book yesterday and I think that pushed me towards watercolor for my new work. They are inspirational! This is the same dowitcher that appears in an earlier post as a charcoal drawing. In that post I said that it also might appear in a watercolor so here's the fulfillment of that 6 month old prediction.

I'll probably do more work on this but I'm stopping for today.
For now it's just great to be working again.


Pam Johnson Brickell said...

I'm jealous, you have Lars' book! I must try again to get it. His work is incredible.

I like your watercolor of the shorebird, Think some of the contrast you have in the charcoal rendition would really make it pop.

I've found a new tool for watercolor pencils. It's a prismacolor colorless blending pencil for regular color pencils. If you press hard enough with it on your paper it acts as a resist, helping to keep whites. I'm still experimenting. I'll keep you posted.

Ken Januski said...

Hi Pam,

I've been wanting to get one of his books for the last couple of years so the first time I saw it for sale I grabbed it, even amidst worries about spending money in this environment. I haven't regretted it for a minute.

Yes I think you're right about the contrast. I have not been practicing what I preach about values in this. That is one of the problems with working from photos: you're tempted to put down what you see which might be pretty dull tonally. On the other hand it's always so easy to use up the white paper too quickly. So I've been slow to add any more darks. But I'm off to stare at the painting over my morning coffee.

Eventually I'm sure I'll make some changes though I'm not sure how significant they'll be. But time will tell. It's always difficult going back into a work that is superficially done. It looks good enough to pass for finished and you realize any changes might make it worse. On the other hand, as 100Swallows mentioned on a recent post, there's also an itch that bothers you and tells you it's still not done.

Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Let me know how the blending pencil works out. You never know when a new tool will be just what you need. When I used to do much more charcoal drawing than I do now one of my major tools was an eraser. I'd buy every type the art store sold and then experiment to see how each affected charcoal. Fortunately erasers, even the fanciest, were in my budget!