Saturday, November 28, 2009
Day of the Wigeons - Holiday of the Ducks
I looked forward to this long weekend because I hoped to be able to devote a fair amount of time to it to art. After my unsuccessful Northern Shoveler watercolors I decided I needed to spend some time doing detailed sketches of ducks. So yesterday I concentrated on Northern Shovelers. Today it was American Wigeons.
For many ducks can be dull birds. When we were at The Meadows of Cape May in October we ran into someone who was using the trails for bike riding. He had no interest in birds at all. Until we showed him some ducks magnified 30x in my spotting scope. I think he left a believer. Ducks are incredibly beautiful birds, especially in breeding plumage. The one problem for an artist is that the patterns can be so complex that to render them truthfully seems almost impossible. Thus these drawings. My hope is that in doing them enough I'll eventually understand both the structure of ducks, especially in regard to feather tracts, and find a shorthand for their complex patterns.
Today's works like yesterday's are all based on photos that I took. With such beautiful birds it's been a pleasure to work on them. At some time, probably weeks away, I'll try to do some more developed works using ducks as subject matter.