Sometimes I spend more time trying to decide what to paint, as I do painting it. This time I set out to paint a Spruce Grouse. They have a complex pattern that makes their plummage very cryptic. This is what I like to paint. I selected some nice reference photos of grouse, and habitat photos, all taken this past summer at Goose Creek.
Then I sketched it all out on a 16x20" gessoboard. All well and good, just boring to look at. I set the drawing aside and gathered photos of Bohemian Waxwings. They are strikingly beautiful, and I have numerous photos of them. Mostly I shot the photos in the Mountain Ash trees growing alongside my driveway. I made a nice sketch on another 16x20" gessoboard... boring.
Next I erased the grouse sketch, and started playing with ideas for a wolverine painting. A friend of mine, Bart Quimby, took some decent photos of a wolverine, as it clambered over the rocks, high in the Chugach Mountains. He gave me permission to use his photos however I wished to do so. I also amassed some additional habitat photos that I have taken in the Chugach Mountains.
In no time I had a sketch on the 16x20" gessoboard that originally was a Spruce Grouse. This was not so boring.