Thursday, February 4, 2010

Sandhill Cranes and Canada Geese

Thanks to all the artists at the 'Wildlife Art' section of for their advice on how to finish this. Most of the advice was 'don't fiddle' and make any changes in a new painting. That was very good advice. I've made a number of small changes that I think have improved this. But I've kept them small and I think that was a good idea. Especially with watercolor it's easy to overwork the painting and kill it. Better to save any changes for a new painting.

My guess is that learning this is one of the steps on the way to becoming a mature artist. At least for me there is a tendency to rush into the painting and make changes without thinking of the consequences. And of course I'm not alone. Famous artists of the past were known for going into an exhibiition and changing the painting hanging on the wall. I believe that Delacroix was famous for this though I could be wrong.

This is my first developed work on good watercolor paper in months. I hope to continue doing more. As I said in last post these beautiful cranes were seen at Horicon Marsh in Wisconsin last fall. What a treat to be able to see them!


Gabrielle said...

This is really nice, Ken. Congrats! And good choice on not overworking it. It is SO easy to do. What kind of paper are you working on?

In this painting, you've captured so many of the hundreds of different shades of green out there. When we're driving along the highway, I'm always amazed at how many greens you can see in the landscape. I know of artists who have sketchbooks filled entirely with all the possible green mixes.

I've been watching the news about the snowstorm along the East Coast. I hope it has not caused any problems for you and that you can just enjoy it.

Ken Januski said...

Thanks Gabrielle,

I have to say that I'm very happy with this one! I actually wasn't happy with the greens after the first stage so the last changes I made got rid of some of the bluer greens and made them more yellow, which is actually closer to what I saw. I think I'd normally be hesitant to do such a 'green' painting. It can be overpowering. But that is what I saw and I think this reflects it well. The rich green of the warm months.

The paper is from a Strathmore 400 Field Watercolor book. It interleaves sketch paper and 140 pound watercolor paper. I've been fairly happy with it. If I go to larger watercolors then I'll probably switch to Arches. But this is good for this size.

I'm heading out now to dig out my car from the snow. It's parked 4 blocks away, the closest spot I could find before the storm, and probably has more than 2 feet of snow on it. But at least it's sunny. It should be beautiful while I'm shoveling away. I'm sure glad I don't need to drive to work today. Our two big storms have been very cooperative in at least coming on the weekend!