Monday, November 25, 2013

An Acrylic Detour

Dark-eyed Junco in Pine. Acrylic Painting by Ken Januski.

In going through my expired listings on my Etsy store the other day I noticed this painting of a Dark-eyed Junco in the small Swiss Stone Pine in our backyard. The painting itself is next to the light switch in my studio so I see it every day. But it's always seemed a bit unfinished to me. It may also be the first acrylic I did in 15-20 years. I do know it was one of the first, if not the first.

In any case I finally decided to put down printmaking tools and watercolors and pick up my acrylics. Above is the updated version. Primarily it sharpens the bill and adds some dark to the background.

Killdeer on Rock Bar. Acrylic Painting by Ken Januski.

Of course once I started on it I looked at another painting in my studio, a Killdeer on a rock bar in the wetlands pond of Morris Arboretum. I struggled and struggled with this painting a year or more ago. I did exhibit it for sale but never actually put it up for sale online because something kept nagging me about it. In any case I also reworked it. Most of the work was spent on making the rock bar lighter in tone.

The Junco is a small 6x8 inch painting. This is a larger 11x14 inch painting.

White-throated Sparrow. Unfinished Acrylic Painting by Ken Januski.

After finishing these two I couldn't resist trying a new 6x8 inch canvas since I had one just sitting there. This is not at all done. But before I worked too much on the background I wanted to concentrate on getting this handsome White-throated Sparrow right. I'm just starting to see them again and they'll be here all winter and much of the spring. Each time I see them I realize how handsome they are. Sparrows have a subtle beauty.

It sometimes is a mistake not to have figured out the background before you actually start the painting. When you don't you cans spend forever, fiddling here and fiddling there trying to make the whole thing work. I have some confidence that won't be the case here. but I could easily be wrong.

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