Saturday, 25 January 2014

Blue Jays

This is the painting I did in response to the AVA subject `A Winter Scene'. It enabled me to kill two birds (no pun intended) with one stone. I looked up birds in winter and came up with two photos of Blue Jays, a bird I'd previously been unaware of as they certainly aren't a UK species. I decided to combine the two as this seemed feasible with shared similarities. 

This was my setup with one of the photos used for the right hand part of the painting.

Blue Jays in Winter - 18" x 12" Fabriano Artistico Extra White 140lb (300gsm) Not.

The most difficult party was depicting the snow and this could certainly be better. I added some Galeria Acrylic White at the end but it hasn't made that much difference.

I completed the drawing the day before the AVA session to give me more time on the day. I realise one of my many faults is rushing into things. This was with a Pentel mechanical pencil 07 2B. I did so using Ward's version of Charles Reid's modified contour drawing method. I first painted the left hand bird starting with the head. I painted this as carefully and slowly as I'm capable. I then did something similar with the right hand bird then moved down the bodies, although I also included parts of the surrounding areas so as not to isolate them too much. I didn't want the birds to look like cutouts.

Colours used were blues and violets on the birds, Cerulean, Cyan Blue, Turquoise, Ultramarine Violet and Moonglow. Ivory Black also featured around the eyes and in places on the wings. Background colours included Sap Green, Green-Gold and Quinacridone Rust. Other colours included Phalo Green mixed with Perylene Maroon, heavily diluted. The branches are mainly Raw Sienna, Raw Umber and Cerulean with touches of Burnt Umber.

I used three brushes. They were the two Isabey retractables sizes 4 and 6 - much smaller but longer and slimmer than most others of these sizes. The other brush was the Rosemary retractable travel brush Size 10 Kolinsky sable. This is another nice brush that I've had for a while.

I finished quite pleased with this painting although comment from fellow artists was muted!


Ray Maclachlan said...

A delightful composition Peter and well painted. Allowing background colour to flow into the subject matter helps to stop the cutout effect. There is an excellent example of this on Charles' Facebook page today.

Ray Maclachlan said...

The Facebook link Peter.

Peter Ward said...

Thanks Ray. I found that CR painting earlier. Bit different to some of his other work.