Sunday, December 13, 2009

Duddy Rucks

As I finish up my ducks series I've run into a bit of a problem: some duds after those pintails I was so happy with. Thus the title: (DUD)dy Rucks, rather than what they actually represent, Ruddy Ducks. But I hadn't posted or done much artwork in awhile so I wanted to post something.

A combination of few field sketches, distant photos lacking in detail and lack of practice was a problem. Compounding the problems were that these ducks, unlike all the others I've portrayed, were in deeper, choppier water. They are diving ducks, not dabbling ducks. So waves lapped against their sides, negating a clean lower silhouette. In addition it's been hard to portray the choppiness of the water in this part of Brigantine NWR, where I saw them.

Until I started on these two I didn't realize how placid the water was in my other duck paintings and drawings. All in all though this is something to be happy about. The natural world is a complex place. And I'd rather have something new to portray than something I might get bored with. Nonetheless I can see that learning to portay choppy water will be a long-term project. Not that I'd really conquered still water. But the challenge is what keeps art exciting.

I'm not sure how many more duck photos I have - probably not many. So this series will soon end. It's been enjoyable and educational. I've learned a lot through all of the detailed pencil drawings and through the quick watercolors. Soon it will be time to move onto something else, possibly sparrows. It may be time to put up the scope and start drawing our 18 million house sparrows from life.............

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