Sunday, January 5, 2014

Wilson's Snipe Acrylic Painting

Wilson's Snipe at Ottawa NWR. Initial Stage of Acrylic Painting by Ken Januski.

This is the very first state of a 9x12 inch painting of some Wilson's Snipe, and one further Lesser Yellowlegs. They were seen at Ottawa NWR in late September, right before it closed due to the government shutdown.

As you can tell it's rough. But I think it will stay that way. I like to understand birds, to know their structure, their markings, their movements. But at least with me trying to capture that leads to a dead painting. So as more or less a 2014 New Year's resolution I'm going to try to stay away from detail this year, more than I normally do that is.

One thing about snipe, particularly if you try to draw them in the field without aid of photos, is the striking pattern on their back. It's almost more striking than their long bill. So I'm hoping that this pattern will stand out here and be enough to ID them. I hope it will also be a focus or foci of the painting.

I've been listening to a Great Courses course on music recently as well as reading my ancient Introduction to Music textbook. More than ever they convince me that painting is primarily abstract, like music. And though it can often have a subject it will end up quite dull if it's limited by that.

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