Untamed Land

Untamed Land
Untamed Land

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Black and White

After completing the Harpy Eagle painting, I started kicking around ideas for the next painting. Small paintings are the easiest to sell and I have a lot of 9x12" gessoboards on hand. So first I coated one of them with gray gesso, and sanded it smooth after it dried.
Then I went through some of my many albums of reference photos for the zillionth time. I picked out the Black-capped Chickadee photo above first. I cannot remember how many times I have used this photo in paintings before, but it is my favorite chickadee photo.
Chickadee paintings are without doubt, the easiest of all subject matter to sell. It is no exageration to say that I have done at least 1000 chickadee paintings in my lifetime. There were times when I whipped out four chickadee paintings in one day. I am so burned out on them, that it is almost excruciating to make myself do another. That is why I surprised myself by being in the mood to do another chickadee painting.

This time I reversed the chickadee when I painted it. needless to say, I enhanced it's colors. You have to admit, the painting looks much better than the photo.
This is the other chickadee photo that I picked out. It is a copy of a print, made from a slide. The original slide does not look so bad.  I have used this photo in a number of paintings as well. I guess it's high time for me to go out and get more chickadee photos. I do have dozens of other chickadee photos to choose from.
This is my version of the last photo. A huge improvement if I may be so immodest.
The whole painting, Black and White, 9x12". Now that it's finished, I seem to remember that I did a nearly identical painting, using the same two chickadees, and the same basic composition. Only that earlier painting, was painted in black and white, without any other colors. Ironic that the black and white painting was not called Black and White. The first version may have actually been a better painting without distracting colors.


Friend of HK said...

Your paintings look so real! Excellent work¬

Kay Baughman said...

I love the chickadee photos--but you did improve upon them in your painting! I especially like the effect of the feathers in the closeups.

Mo said...

fantástico trabajo y una hermosa fotografía, un saludo.

Colette Theriault said...

John, I thoroughly enjoyed reading about your painting process and your chickadee painting story. Thanks for sharing. Your painting is a tremendous improvement on the photos; the birds look so danty in the setting you have chosen. Bravo!

john said...

Friend of Hong Kong, Kay, Mononoke, and Colette, Thank you and muchas gracias for your kind comments, and for following my blog.

tess stieben said...

Chickadees are endearing especially in the cold of winter when all else sleeps the chickadee still flits about chorusing from the bushes., Hugs!