Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Great Blue Heron Study in Gouache

Early one morning I went out for my usual walk with Maggie along the river. The sun was just breaking over the hill tops and the morning was clear and still. As I rounded a corner there stood a Great Blue Heron on a rocky outcropping. The early morning sun was illuminating his feathers causing a bright contrast between sunlight and shadow. He seemed to be glowing. He stood there perfectly balanced on one leg, a lone sentinel. The moment seemed magical and an idea for a painting and the title ( which will be a secret until the painting is done!) came to me all at once. Lucky for me I had remembered to bring my camera this time so the moment was recorded for future reference.

This little painting is a study painting for a larger one I'd like to paint soon. It's been painted fairly loose for me and was meant to be so. I was mostly trying to capture an impression, a feeling, a moment in time. It will, hopefully, help me to work out problems on the larger painting. However, I am pleased with how this small one turned out and probably won't change too much in the final, larger painting. I know already that the larger one will be painted tighter overall and I will be adding some additional details like small twigs and branches to frame the heron, but I like the feeling I'm getting from this already. This small one will be for sale in a few weeks after I finish the larger piece. This painting is just 2.5" x 3.5" (ACEO/ATC size) and is another done in gouache.

Well, I leave tomorrow morning for a painting workshop with Terry Isaac at a place called Arts Desire in Vancouver, WA. Terry is an internationally known wildlife artist who paints in acrylic. I have been interested in his work for a number of years and have been waiting for an opportunity to go to a workshop with him for about as long. I'm hoping that this will improve my ability to paint with acrylic and help me to start integrating more backgrounds and environment in all my paintings as this seems to be a weak area for me. Terry likes to paint "magical moments" in nature and I'm interested in capturing those as well. I see so many special moments when I'm out on my walks and I'd love to be able to do a better job of painting those so that others, who might not have an opportunity to ever see such wonderful things, might be able to enjoy them. That's my hope and desire anyway.

Guess I'd better go finish packing. I'll be gone for six days....two days of travel and four days of non-stop painting and learning! Can't hardly wait!! I expect to be overflowing with enthusiasm and ideas when I get back and will share as soon as I can. See you then!!

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