I'm painting a bird called an anhinga, which I must say, has a very interesting wingshape. In this post, I want to write a little bit part of my process of painting separating the feathers of those wings.
As I was getting near the end of painting the anhinga, the wings were still bothering me. I knew I needed more separation between the feathers. I could not get by with just the pencil lines. My first thought was to add shadows, but that wasn’t right. The wings weren’t separate by shadows, but by highlights. I couldn’t make the edges of my feathers any lighter, though, so I made the other sides of them darker. That way the edges would look lighter by default.
Here's what the anhinga's wings looked like before I added the darker shade to them.
You can see what they looked like after in the pic at the top of this post. I used a small brush and one fluid motion for each wing. If I’d stopped and started, my edges would’ve been ragged. I couldn’t have that, since these the shapes of these highlights determine the shapes of the feathers, which needed to be straight. As soon as I put my first stroke down, I could see the wings coming to life. It was like depth was being infused into them. To think I almost skipped this because I was lazy.
A way I could’ve made it better would be to have a more consistent amount of water in my brush throughout the project. There were times when I had more water in my brush than at others and this caused the paint to pool in those areas, so it wasn’t as even as I would’ve liked. The hardest part was getting super close to the edge, while still leaving that little sliver.
By the way, here's the full painting, so far,
and the reference photo.
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The following is a repost from my wordpress blog.
Technically, this isn’t really my first time working in colored pencils. I’ve used colored pencils in cards and quick sketches, but this is my first time making a serious art piece with them. I saw artists like Lisa Clough and Leonardo Pereznieto do beautiful work with colored pencil and I started to wish I could do that myself.
Well, recently, I needed colored pencils for an art class and I didn’t want to use my cheapies, so I went and bought a set of Faber-Castell polychromoses. I spent almost $60.00 on a set of twenty-four, so I'm determined to get my money’s worth.
The first result of that determination, is the drawing you see below. It’s being made using a combination of the colored pencils and Mona Lisa odorless paint thinner to blend on 9×12 Fabriano Studio hot pressed 140 pound watercolor paper.
I surprised myself with how good colored pencil can come out. I found a new medium to enjoy working in. I used the technique of blending the pencil with paint thinner.
Also, here are some pics my mom and stepdad took of me while I was working out on the balcony this afternoon.
That’s all for now. I’ll talk to you again next week.
Painter of portraits and wildlife