Sunday, May 14, 2017

Osprey Montage

Osprey Montage-watercolor, gouache, pencil
In spite of the fact that I haven't been very good at posting lately, painting for the October show still continues, though at a somewhat slower pace. I have had to give my back a break over the past month as sitting for hours at my drawing table has caused some old spinal problems to resurface. I haven't quite figured out how to paint while lying on the floor with your feet on the couch. That was the only way I was able to make my back stop screaming at me! Made me think of how Michelangelo ever painted the Sistine Chapel while lying on his back! Anyway, I have managed to complete another five paintings in that time and this is one of them.
Osprey nesting
 As I've been contemplating various ideas for my thirty paintings I decided I wanted to try some mixed media compositions. I also wanted to do a few pieces that just featured a bird in more detail and with different poses to better capture the character of that species. About this time the osprey started to return to the valley to nest, giving me some good opportunities to study them in a little more depth.
Osprey diving
There were so many possibilities of pose combinations to include in this montage that I had a hard time settling on a composition, but eventually I had to make a decision and chose to do a head study to show that incredible raptor eye, a perched bird to show how they wait and watch for fish and a bird hovering in mid-air just before that cannon-ball dive when they spot their prey in the waters below.

I completed the piece in watercolor and gouache along with a pencil study with a watercolor wash. I did the pencil study in part because I could sit on my couch with my feet up to work on it while giving my back a break and not have to worry about getting paint all over my good furniture. I also did it just because I wanted to do a little pencil work for a change and like the look with a little watercolor on it.

I like the way it turned out, but as I said, there were so many possibilities with this subject that there may be another piece in the future. You'll just have to wait and see!