Wednesday, February 16, 2011

"a few stragglers": finishing touches

back for the final stages of this project. very windy (not unusual) with threat of rain (very unusual) but a nice warm day out here in the desert.  the amount of airborne dust will probably preclude a lot of out there activities so gives me a great excuse to finish this painting and maybe move on to the next.

"a few stragglers"

i think that the wet-in-wet painting of the ducks did come out a little light in value and will need some strengthening in some areas (and having looked at some pictures of mallards, some color correction).  i want to be careful not to repaint the entire shape as that sometimes causes tired looking color. i will make these corrections at the end to make sure i get the right balance with the rest of the painting as these are probably as much focal point as i am likely to have in any of my paintings.

i decided to start by putting in the big washes representing the sky and other background reflections in the water.  this is just a matter of recapitulating that which is at the upper part of the painting in the lower being careful to get the reflections more or less right in line with the objects on the upper part. after that i strengthened the ducks in various places.  second, i added some ripples behind the ducks indicating some swimming movement.  lastly, i lifted out some lighter reflections in the water using a 3/4" flat synthetic brush dampened and "wrung out" so that it is thirsty enough to pick up enough paint to show a light line of the sky reflecting off of distant waves/ripples.  of course in counterpoint to these will be darker lines of reflections off the waves from the distant shore which i added with a #2 and #4 round sable and a dark mixture of ultramarine blue/burnt sienna.

done and on to the next project which i have decided will be a portrait of some sort perhaps with some associated activity in the background for a little more interest.  i have a number of photos from which to gain inspiration and right now i am leaning in the direction of using one of charles reid i took at a jackson hole workshop about a year and a half ago. we'll see if i have enough chutzpah to "paint the painter"!

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