Sunday, June 5, 2011

Building Another Watercolor

This is an unfinished watercolor, about 11x15 inches on Arches cold press paper. It's based on fieldsketches, shown below, that I did at Morris Arboretum yesterday. As I was drawing the kildeer through my spotting scope, a number of very young Wood Duck ducklings paddled by behind him. So eventually I also sketched them.

As soon as I saw the ducklings I knew I'd like to combine them with the kildeer in one painting. That's one of the pleasures of sketching in the field I think. You're always seeing something that strikes you. All you need is the courage to try to put it down on canvas.

Of course skill is needed as well. But in some ways I think it's the courage to even try that is more important. I don't want this to be another art-related post but I do just want to point out how different this process is from the one I used as an abstract artist. Finding a subject was hard work. That is not at all the case with working from nature. There's always something there.

I also did a quick pencil sketch yesterday which was my first attempt at combining the ducklings and is below. Obviously I also added some watercolor.

It reminds me of the quick 15 minute watercolors I used to do. Like those it's a good way to try out ideas for a larger more finished work.

I'm not sure how much more work I'll do on the work at top. I'm sure that there will be some, probably trying to unify the colors and values a bit more.

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