Thursday, April 21, 2011

Back in the saddle

The damaged duck stamp painting is safely behind me...I'm good to go!  So, for the past few weeks I've been doing some experimenting.  For awhile I've been curious about painting with acrylics, and recently I've come across some new (to me) surfaces for my watercolor painting.  So that's what Ive been up to.  I spent some time working in acrylics, and decided for now that that's not my strength.  Do what I do best, so keep with the watercolors.  I did though find a new panel to paint on.  All my previous watercolor painting has been done on watercolor board.  Like cardboard, but nicer.  Well I found a masonite board specifically coated to accept watercolor paint.  Very interesting stuff.  This panel has its pluses and minuses as compared to what I've painted on previously so I decided I need to do a complete painting to see how it goes.

Since it was recommended to me that I should display the different stages of one of my paintings that is what you will find in this blog entry.  The subject matter is yet another duck.  Just so happens the Federal Duck stamp competition is slated for August, and one of the qualifying species is the mallard.  With that in mind I did some photography a few months ago for duck subjects as well as background material.  The duck for this painting is actually a photo of a mallard that Elke took on a vacation from last year.  I am not intending for this painting to be an entry (I have questions about the composition), but more as practice and experimentation with the new masonite panel, and the size of the painting.  The dimensions for the Federal competition are fixed at 7 inches by 10 inches.  Remember, the winning entry has to be reduced down to the size of a duck stamp, so paintings can't be 18x24 - a typical size for my art.

A few days ago I started this painting:
I start by projecting the images on my panel.  I do not freehand the drawing, because I can't afford to make erasures.  When you erase you scuff the board or panel which changes the way it absorbs and blends.
I then block in some background colors, and begin fine-tuning.  When I start painting details I generally begin with whatever is in the rear, meaning if something is going to be overlapped it has to be painted first.  In this case as in most the top of the painting goes first.  I went ahead and did some work on the ducks head, because nothing is in front of it, and I like to look at it while working around it.  The body will be the very last, since it sits on top of all the background.
I said I would paint the body last - oops, I fibbed.  Well, I was painting the rocks and the bank and I got restless.  So, since not much is in the way of the body I went ahead yesterday and started in.  I'm going to finish the body then go back and finish the rocks he is standing on then finish with the grass on the left.
I'll be back in a few days to update.


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