Sunday, October 18, 2009

White Faced Whistler
15 x 30

When I made my 50 birds last summer, I knew I'd want to go back and paint larger versions of some of them. Working on a 6x6 surface, though quaint and intimate, really lacks some of the expressive brushwork that I enjoy with painting. This familiar bird has been greatly enlarged onto canvas and the painting probably will be more about the free and loose water patterns than the duck itself in the end. This is the underpainting, where I lay down the composition and color temperatures of the painting. Some of these colors will "peek" through the subsequent layers of paint.

Between Two Worlds

I'm so close to the end of this painting, the branch has been a struggle. I need to find the correct gray value of the dead branch while highlighting the glowing light from the distant fire. The challenge has been balancing the values of the branch so it sets properly against the background and doesn't get lost. Throw in the correct chroma of orange highlight and you have a problem to be solved, mostly by trial and error. Ahh, this is what we artists live for!


  1. The whistlerpainting looks great in this stage already! Looking forward to seeing it progress. I agree about smaller works and brushwork, I made a few quickstudies lately but it's hard to do some expressive brushwork in those.
    Beautiful light in the Between 2 worlds detail.

  2. Thanks, Erik~
    Someday I hope to paint even larger and use big housepainting brushes...imagine that!

  3. Denny-
    I can't wait to see the painting when it's finished!
    I hope this finds you well!
    David @ Ashfield Hansen Design

  4. Your 50/50 series is what inspired me to follow your blog. I loved your birds, as I am a bird lover myself. Are you a birder? I formerly planned my life around birdwatching, but now painting has taken a priority. I especially like your raven in between two worlds. Aren't they magnificent creatures

  5. Donna~

    I'm not really a birder, I've just been drawn lately to painting them...thanks in part to my friend Marty. I love ravens so much, I see them al around here on the coast and sometimes I can hear them walking on the roof of my studio! Thanks for checking in.

  6. Denny..What struck me first when I visited your blog and as I see this crow painting is that you are very strong in good composition. I like that in an artist. Very inspired....

  7. Thanks, Frank...believe me when I say the inspiration is mutual.