Friday, December 4, 2009
It Wasn't Tunnicliffe...
At least I'm pretty sure it wasn't. I was flipping through famous British artist Charles Tunnicliffe's 'A Sketchbook of Birds' today. One of the works that particularly struck me was a watercolor of 10-15 Northern Pintails all in a group. It struck me as did all of his duck works because that's what I've been working with recently.
I think instead the real motivation behind the accompanying watercolor of 12 female Northern Pintails was just one of reaction. I couldn't stand doing any more detailed pencil work! Well not really. I've enjoyed it. But I did feel like doing some watercolors that almost by definition wouldn't be as detailed. So there are two here. The first one I did of two male Pintails is a quick 15-30 minute watercolor. I drew in the shapes loosely first. The second, and the one I'm particularly fond of, was done without pencil. I just started sketching in all of the ducks in very light watercolor lines. As it progressed I added more shape and darker color. It felt much more like painting and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
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I like the pintails, both the sketches and the watercolors. The group of pintails is especially interesting, with reflections and one bird shaking its head or stretching. The group looks like it is about to take flight.
The two male pintails are wonderful. The one in the foreground appears to be looking back at something. Maybe the group of females! Lovely watercolor. I do like your sketches too. Ellen
I had a lot of fun doing, and seeing, these Pintails. I think people often think of bird art as just doing a solo portrait. But I much prefer putting them in the environment they live in, often with similar birds around.
I believe that there are a fair number of ducks in certain spots in Philadelphia where I could work from life. But the colder weather scares me off a bit. One of these days though I'll need to brave the cold.........
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