Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Developing the Kingfisher and Turtles

It's been awhile since I've done anything other than quick works and sketches. That's fine. I feel like I need to move back and forth between the easy and the hard, that which puts a lot of pressure on me and that which puts little. Of course that pressure is primarly the pressure of failure.

But you never really improve without risking failure. There's only the thrill of success when you realize that you're taking a chance and risking something. But this does take a toll, so I for one have never seen any need to put constant pressure on myself.

All of which is a long roundabout way of saying I wanted to try something more ambitious with my sketches of the Belted Kingfisher, Painted Turtles and Snow.

The accompanying photos show two versions of a new watercolor. It's a slightly different design than the last wash study. One of the things I'm finally starting to get comfortable with in representational work is modifying what I actually saw. For years I couldn't do this. I only felt comfortable drawing or painting exactly what I saw, whether in real life or from a photo I took. But happily that has changed. And there is something thrilling about creating your own world, almost like writing a novel.

The first version at top is the most recent version. I changed it from the second photo because I was afraid the kingfisher got lost in all the surrounding blue. So I made some of the water a bit more green/brown. And that was probably accurate as well. I didn't take any photos of the water so I can't say for sure.

I'm not sure if this is done. Pretty close if not actually done. You can only work a watercolor so far without ruining it. And I still think I'll do a linocut of this same subject.

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