Untamed Land

Untamed Land
Untamed Land

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A Fast Merganser

Hooded Mergansers may not be any faster than other mergansers. It was how fast I completed the painting.
Without much doubt, Hooded Mergansers are the most attractive of the various merganser species.
So for this painting, I pulled another old photo from a photo album. This photo was taken by my old friend Richard Inman at Bosque Del Apache Wildlife Refuge, near Socorro, New Mexico. He sent me the photo to use as a reference, in case I ever wanted to use it in a painting. I've been meaning to do so for about 12 years.
First I sketched the bird on an 11x14" gessoboard. Then I roughed in some gray/green water.
In this stage I put a line of bulrushes along the top of the painting, and added some reflections of them in the water.
.Next I put in some thin blue reflections of the sky in the water, and a base of the duck's reflection. Then I extented some faint reflections of the top bulrushes.
The painting started to look like something when I roughed in the merganser.
The painting looks finished at this stage. I refined the subject and it's reflection, but I still have more work to do.
A detail of the completed merganser. There is still more work to do on the rest of the painting.
Richard's original photo had the merganser partially concealed behind more bulrushes. I added them. but I simplified the composition of the reeds.
The completed painting, Hooded Merganser, 11x14". I can't remember whether I've painted one before this. I bet I have.
Another detail photo. The whole painting only took a day and a half from start to finish. Time will tell whether I decide to make future changes to it. For now it looks fine.


tess stieben said...

Beautiful ducks Mergansers, your painting really captures me. You sure work fast. Hugs!

Colette Theriault said...

Wow, looks fine to me! I personally think the hooded merganser is the most beautiful of all northern ducks and also elusive to photograph nicely. When I read your post and saw your painting develop, it reminded me of a very similar pose I hope to paint some day.
As always, what a wonderful rendering John, and only in just a day and half!! I am envious!!