Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Work in Progress - American Kestrel Painting

Kestrel sketch and reference
I woke up the other morning with kestrels on the brain. In fact, they kept me awake half the night. I don't know for sure what has caused this obsession. It may be related to the sketch I did the other day or possibly the fact that I've been spending time photographing and studying my friends falcons. Or maybe there is some other hidden reason that I'm not aware of, but whatever the reason is, I can't seem to stop thinking about them. They seem to be showing up everywhere I go, too. I usually see one every morning on my walk and the other morning I woke up to find one in my bird bath!
American Kestrel bathing
This is beginning to get a little scary!

I decided that perhaps this was a hint to get started on another painting so I got out all my photo reference and sketched out a pair of them on tracing paper. When I was happy with the composition I transferred it to an Ampersand Aquabord and started painting with washes of acrylic ink for a soft, transparent background. As you can see I've just blocked in the markings on the birds.
 So far so good! I am painting the whole thing in acrylic so I can make changes if I need to. Hopefully, with a little luck I can get it completed in a few days.