The pair in this painting are getting a running start across the surface of the water before take off. Flight is difficult when you have such comparatively tiny wings.
Friday, July 27, 2012
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
The most obvious alteration that I made was to change the species. It is now a Red-breasted Nuthatch. In my opinion it's not as cute as a Pygmy Nuthatch, but more strikingly marked and colorful.
The whole painting is only 8x10".
A closer photo of the nuthatch. For those of you who may be unfamiliar with these 4.5" long birds, they hitch up and down tree trunks, probing the bark for insects. They also eat seeds, and store them under tree bark, and other crevasses to help them get through the harsh winter.
They move at a frenetic pace, and are confiding around people. Their simple call has a very nasal quality to it. They excavate nest cavities just like woodpeckers.
This is a close photo of the last painting that I forgot to include in the last post. This painting has good atmosphere, and fine detail that does'nt show well in photos. So far I have decided to keep it as is.
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
One problem that I encountered was trying to control the strong contrasr between sunlit foliage set against a shadowy background. The leaves were coming out too bright and washed out if I exposed for the overall scene. I had to greatly underexpose the background in order to make the leaves look right.
I like the way this photo looks, and I was wondering what kind of critter would look best in a scene like this. Some kind of bird, maybe an owl? How about a Mammal like a squirrel or a Pine Marten? These are good ideas, but I thought about doing something big like a Moose, Bear, lynx, or a wolf. Maybe it would look good if it was in brooding shadow behind the bright leaves.
Maybe I'll rework the tree to make it more dominant in the painting. The leaves should span the whole painting. Would that help, or ruin the whole thing? Time will help me decide whether to make changes or not.
Thursday, July 12, 2012
Looking Towards the Sea, 16x12". The hardest thing about doing yet another puffin painting is coming up with a title that I have'nt used before. The last painting took two or three weeks to paint, This one took about a day and a half. I like the way it turned out with the nice atmosphere. These are Tufted Puffins.
Tuesday, July 10, 2012
I am hesitant to add washes or glazes because they can suck all the vibrancy out of a painting. For now I'll leave it as is, to see if it works for me over time. What do you think?
Sunday, July 8, 2012
We were all gathered in the parking lot next to Westchester Lagoon for the annual Audubon Smackdown. It is a semi-childish contest where teams search the area to see who can tally the most species of birds. I joined up with three women on the team called, Three Wild Chicks, or something to that effect. All of the 8 teams had suitably silly names.
When I got home and checked my field guides, I realized that they are juvenile, Tree Swallows.
At the end of the day, all the teams met to compare sightings, and eat a scrumptuous lunch. The top three teams got some nifty, and quirky prizes. Aaron Bowman's team took top honors. Naturally, he is Audubon's Field Trip Leader, and a phenomenal birder. Our team did not shine today. We came in 6th. Oh well, we sure had some geeky fun.
Sunday, July 1, 2012
I already did a post about ebird, (use this blog's search engine to read about it), and since I regularly use ebird, I was mostly interested in the birding.
Mud Lake certainly does not sound too paradaisical, but I had never visited it or adjacent Jim Lake. The area has recently been designated an Important Bird Area. I've heard about the two lakes for years, but did'nt know how to get to them. Thankfully most other people dont know how to get there either.
After the great morning of birding, we went to Vagabond Blues in Palmer for lunch, and then to the library to learn how to do ebird.