Saturday, January 30, 2010

Punky Young Heron of Homer

You never know where you'll find inspiration, or interesting birds. We try to visit my sister and my brother in law every year in central Illinois. Since they know we have an interest in birds they will often try to find a day trip that they think we might enjoy. Last fall we went to Homer Lake State Park. We really didn't find much.

But there was a fairly new wetland that was just being developed. I think we saw one bird and a few, large frogs. But the one bird was a Green Heron whose head took on the most spiky, punky look I've ever seen on a Green Heron. I took a number of photos and did drawings based on them a few months ago.

The appeal is still there. As I browsed old photos today looking for the subject for another quick watercolor those photos jumped out. I got a little carried away in trying to work quickly and ended up getting rid of some white areas that I wanted to keep. But I've also gotten a little more comfortable with sneaking in a little white gouache to get it back. Those were the last steps here.

As I said we aaw a number of large frogs here as well. In the back of my mind I'm wondering about the possibility of combining the two in one more developed painting. We shall see. Either way that unpromising little wetland has proven very fertile for me.


Chatters said...

He's lovely Feels very lively. A lovely sketchy painting. Great that you found such an inspirational wetland. I would love to live near somewhere like that. Frogs are great to paint!

Ken Januski said...

Thanks Amanda. Another one of those 15-30 minute watercolors. I'm really happy that I forced myself to start doing them.

We're lucky that we have a wetland a few miles away. Too far to walk to but a very short drive.

Frogs are really new to me. I had to look this one up to find out they were bullfrogs. But I'll be paying more attention from now on. I couldn't figure out how to get them into a painting with the heron but they'll appear somewhere one of these days!