Saturday, May 15, 2010

What's on the Easel

Easel is a term that I'm using to describe what's in progress but I actually paint on a drafting table. I have a show coming up in Ellensburg, WA this May 21-23 and a show coming up in October (Wild Wings Fall Festival). Needless to say, I am working to finish several new paintings. Below are some (not all) of the ones I am currently working on with a few notes about each one....

This 18" x 24" painting is nearly complete and titled First Light - Pintail. When they are close to being finished, I take time and stare at each painting. Sometimes, after a bit of time, I'll get an idea to add something, or something will stick out that needs changing. But, I am happy with this one and do not foresee any changes. It will be going to the Fall Festival.

I am excited about this one! Those are the Grand Tetons in the background and it is a different angle of them. I'm not sure yet if I am going to incorporate wildlife inot the paintitng. If I do, whatever species it is will be secondary and much smaller in the landscape because the striking light in the aspens is the main subject. This painting is 18" x 32".

Here is 16" x 20" painting that is just started. If you can't tell what it is yet - those are a coastal rock formation that will have tons of lichens, mollusks, algae, etc on them in the near future. I am pretty sure that I am going to put loons in this one.

This painting has been in progress for a couple of years It is large at 24" x 36" but I have been feeling a need to get back to it. The distant shoreline needs to drop a bit lower to make it closer and a few more species may be added as well. It is a good example of a painting in the middle stages. There will be a lot more water detail as well.
See below for the detailed progress of this painting. Like the first painting (First Light - Pintails), I have been sitting on this one seeing if it might need a change or if an idea hits. This one has also been chosen for the Fall Festival.

Another older painting that I thought was finished, but an idea hit recently and it is being changed - a butterfly will grace this summer meadow - not sure what kind yet though. It is 8" x 10".

Another older painting that I haven't really exhibited anywhere. The background is being reworked to include a horizon line and some water detail. It will completely change the dynamic of this painting for the better. Something was missing and I couldn't put my finger on it for the longest time. Also, I love the color variation in the rocks. This one measures 16" x 20"

This painting was finished as a landscape a year ago, but will have a swooping Cooper's Hawk added, or possible a Harris' Hawk. I'll do sketches of both and whichever one it is, the bird will be backlit and small in the background echoing the directional lines of the Catalina Mountains. 9" x 12".

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Greater Scaup Painting

A few posts down, there is a photo of hundreds of scaup on the Columbia River in the Lewis and Clark National Wildlife Refuge. That day on the river was spectacular and I wanted to do a painting that captured a memorable morning. Waves of greater scaup would emerge from the fog and land just outside the decoys. After landing they would audibly mill around on the water before diving for their food. This painting depicts a flock of several species of ducks that are being joined by greater scaup. To start with, a gray background is painted in then the birds are sketched onto the board and each individual duck gets started.
More ducks have been added both in the water and coming in...

Alot has happened here.... Value has been added to the background and water; more ducks have been added and some females have been turned into males.

More species have been added as has fog. The species in the painting are three canvasbacks, one common goldeneye, one bufflehead, and lots of greater scaup (26, I think). If you look at the image above and the one below, you can see that one of the scaup has been changed into a goldeneye. The bird looked to small for the rest, so to add a bit of variety and interest, I made the duck larger and turned it into a goldeneye. Stay tuned to see the painting finished...