Saturday, October 3, 2009

Finishing the Sandhill Cranes

Well this has not been an easy or comfortable finish, but I think the Sandhill Cranes are done. This has been a constant struggle in balancing the muted gray background with a brighter, more color-saturated middle and foreground. Getting the middle and foreground too color saturated early on is what led to my use of sponging. Since then I've tried to add a little more color without making it too brash compared to the background. Also I wanted to keep it somewhat true to what I saw: early morning mist subduing most colors but a certain amount of brightness in the foreground. I think I've succeeded.

It's been an artistic adventure. Sponging is new to me and generally I don't like it in watercolor. But it seemed worth trying here and I'm happy I tried. An artist needs all the tools he can get and now I have a new one!

In the accompanying photos the top photo is the finished one. The other one shows it just before a few final touches.


Pam Johnson Brickell said...

Ahhhh, you added some reds! Think I still like yesterdays best. You get a great feel for strolling cranes. Grand!

Ken Januski said...

Hi Pam,

Yes there were both reds and yellows, and of course greens, in the foreground foliage. So I wanted to keep some of all of them. But everytime I did the colors were just too saturated(like much of my watercolor work!!).

So that's why I did the sponging. But then the painting from my second blog entry just seemed to me to have too much sponging, too much of a blotted out appearance. So I finally settled on this.

The hardest part actually was the road. I really did like it as uncolored paper. But there was a yellow-ochrish color to it in real life to I decided to include that.

The lives and times of one watercolor, I guess I could call this comment.