Now that Thanksgiving is over, it is back to painting! This is a painting of a still life I created. Getting all those cherries to turn the right way was quite frustrating but in the end they all behaved. They must know Christmas is around the corner and Santa is coming. HO-HO
I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving and will have an awesome Christmas. Thanks so much for visiting my blog and my paintings. If you are looking for a Christmas painting please do not hesitant to check out my DailyPaintWorks Gallery.
There where many challenges in this painting. The background need to recede so that meant overlapping multi-colored leaves that are needed to contrast the sparrow and create the illusion of space. The leaves had to be larger as they got closer to the little bird and smaller and softer as they receded. Choosing the colors for the leaves depended mainly on the sparrow's light and dark body edges. If you look at the beak, tail, back wing and head the leaves are lighter. Even the sky color darken and lighten depending on the sparrow's edge. I kept the lightest sky color for the beak to draw the viewer's eye to the focal point in the painting. That took a lot of creative thought and luck.
The other challenge was the bird. So many layered colors were needed and I found that out by trail and error. I would look at an area on the bird ask myself what was the dominant color. After I mapped all the dominant colors I started to add the little varied colors and feather lines on top. This again require patience and trail/error techniques. I was lucking to have a wonderful photo to work from which helped and I posted it below. Thanks for the super photo, Rodney Campbell!
When I first posted this painting it was the small photo below. The tree branches needed adjusting especially the strong white curved line leading the viewer's eye out of the composition. I also needed a better photo. The photo below was too bright or washed out. At first I thought it was my computer screen but when I saw it on my iPad too, I knew it was the lighting in which I took the photo. The sun is much lower in the sky and shines into the studio room like a search light later in the day. Today's photo on top is much better. I took the photo this morning vs late afternoon the day before. I fixed the crazy branches and got a much better photo to represent the painting. I probably should not of posted as soon as the painting was finished for the day. It did give me the chance to explain the process of photographing and remind me that viewing the painting on a screen or seeing the painting in reverse through a mirror can give the artist a fresh look. That way the artist might see mistakes he or she made and fix them.
I added some glazing and soften the bottom edge of contrast on the seagull's chest. It really helps round the seagull's body. Then I noticed I forgot to post it on my blog. That is a first!
I posted what it looked like before the glazing below. I think it makes a big difference.
I painted this from a photograph of a still life I created in my studio. When I sent up a still life I would use several different compositions before deciding on one. I take photos of each to view and compare. The Fruit Maze was the one I choose to paint first. This was a second choice I saved for later. It is more complicated and I wanted to practice with the fruit alone before adding my orange flowers. I am not sure what the flowers are called, a student gave me some seeds along time ago. They come back every year and transplant very well. Thanks Abby for the seeds. I enjoy the flowers every year!