Thursday, August 25, 2016

Dawn Patrol - Prairie Falcon

Dawn Patrol-prairie falcon 11 x 14 acrylic
 Just as the sun kisses the earth with it's first fiery rays of the morning, a prairie falcon takes flight. She is hungry and hoping for an easy meal before the heat of the summer sun causes her prey to take cover for the day. 

It's finally finished! I put the last few finishing touches on it just this morning, then put the brush down and stepped away. It's easy to over-work a painting and you can always see just one more little spot to tweak. This has been a wonderfully challenging painting to attempt, but I'm glad I did because, as always, I learned so much. Since I started this project as a work in progress here on my blog I thought I'd show the last few steps.

When I left off I was just transferring the bird to the board.
And this is where I finished it. This is also as far as I had envisioned it to go. I don't always get a complete idea when the inspiration hits. All I knew was it was suppose to have this spectacular sunrise with a prairie falcon. It's not bad this way, but it could be stronger. My art critic husband said it was beautiful, but needed some definition in the foreground. He was right again!
 I went back to my reference photos I shot that day and also referred to my knowledge of the habitat of those canyons. They are mostly grasses of various kinds, rabbit brush, and a sprinkling of wild sunflowers. Again using chalk I sketched some sunflowers and rabbit brush on the painting. Because of the gloss sealer I could sketch without worry of ruining my painting as the chalk would just wipe off. When I was satisfied with the placement I started to paint in the plants.
Here it is almost finished. Using the chalk I made some hash marks to indicate small stems of grass. When I apply the acrylic paint the chalk just disappears.
The finished piece has a lot going on in it now. Your eye travels around looking at the various elements. I hope you can get an idea of the breadth and depth of the canyons where this prairie falcon lives.The photo does not do justice to the warmth of the piece as it appears to glow, which is exactly what I was hoping to achieve. Of course, I'm not taking full credit for how it's turned out as it was, I believe, Divinely inspired, so the one who inspired it surely gave me  the ability to paint it. 
Thanks for joining me on this little painting journey. Now, I wonder, what my next inspiration will be?
This and many of my other paintings is available through my Daily Paintworks site.