Wednesday, January 5, 2011

A Delicate Situation

I mentioned recently that I often like to change media. This seems to help keep me fresh.

But it's also true that sometimes a bird calls out to be rendered in a certain style. I took a number of photos of Yellow-rumped Warblers at Cape May, NJ in early November. These warblers can drive birders nuts in the fall because sometimes it seems that there are 100 of them for every other warbler. It's easy to ignore them. And yet in fall they do have a really subtle and delicate beauty.

It's that delicacy that I saw when I looked at some photos I'd taken of two different birds. Such delicacy seems to call for an equally delicate medium. My first thought was to sketch these in pencil, then add the color with my old nemesis watercolor pencil.

But after I had the sketch done I just had to use watercolor instead. If you can master it then watercolor seems to do what watercolor pencils intend to do, just much better. So, holding my breath, out came the watercolors.

I am happy with these, though they still don't do justice to the beauty of the birds.

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