The opening reception for Nomadas en Manabi went well. Thank you for your lovely support! I am writing from the hotel and will be returning to the museum to admire each painting in the exhibit. (All photos from last night are still in the camera!) The Museum gets high marks for this show and deserves a post of its own. Meeting and interacting with the other artists was a lovely fringe benefit, and we depart as kindred spirits.
In the last post, the image of the feather was labeled as acrylic; it was painted with watercolor… Blame the editor of the post (me) for that ‘typo’ mistake!
While ‘the feather’ is still fresh in your collective memories, here’s a step-by-step watercolor slide show.
How does one paint something as ‘simple’ as a feather? To me it’s ‘mathematical’ – the brain sorts it out in an unspoken language: “Click-click-click-click-click.” (If only learning Spanish were as easy!) First one needs to really look at what’s there, then draw the basic outline, block in the shadows, then build the washes. Many colors are in my watercolor palette, but I mainly used Burnt Sienna, Payne’s Grey and Ultramarine and/or Cobalt Blue. Sometimes the drawing part is no longer needed, but on this one, I disciplined myself to draw and then paint. (And I remembered to stop to take photos of the process!)
With watercolor, it’s important to let one “wash” dry before adding the next one. To get very-dark darks, it’s a process in patience. The image gets a bit darker with each layer of paint, and most earth colors allow you to ‘lift’ color if needed, like cleaning up the final highlight’ that runs down the middle spine of the feather.
Even if the eye discovers details that go a bit ‘wrong’ it’s best not to over work a painting – to leave it while it still has its own soul…
Wasn’t that Squirrel Cuckoo nice to leave those feathers to inspire me?!!! This was a pleasure to paint, and I pondered what other local birds might donate a feather to join this possible series.