Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Quick Lark

I've been very busy recently and have had to let my artwork slip a bit. I hope today begins the return to more time devoted to artwork.

A few weeks ago I theorized that I might start doing some paintings and drawings based on sparrows. Some sparrows seem more common, or at least more easily seen, in winter. This isn't one however. It's a Lark Sparrow, a bird that we found along one of the ponds near the Hawk Watch at Cape May Point State Park in 2008. It was a lifer for us.

Though I took a lot of photos of this bird in 2008 and really wanted to do a painting I've held off. The photos were slightly overdeveloped. The bird was buried in a mass of branches. And it was hard to really see and understand its structure. All things that tend toward muddy and murky results.

But my recent sparrow drawings, coupled with a desire to do a quick watercolor, convinced me to give it a try. So here it is. I do enjoy these quick watercolors, at least the ones I post here. They're done on paper that won't take much water or working so I just can't get too precious or spend too much time. Fifteen minutes is best. Thirty is possible, including breaks while waiting for paint to try. And any more is asking for trouble. The painting has to be done quickly. And in working quickly I get more familiar with watercolor and with portraying birds and their environment in watercolor. I hate to use the term, but it's a 'win-win' situation.

It's been a very long time since I've done a more developed work. That will still happen. I just don't know when. In the meantime I continue to enjoy these quick watercolors.

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