Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Two Birds and a Pear


I finished reading the book on Painting techniques last week and returned it to the Library. I don't really have a lot to say about it. It is not the type of book that can be summarized easily. It would probably make a good reference book if I were the kind of person who went in for that sort of thing. The book is full of tips about not only painting techniques but also about design and which elements of design can/should be considered when creating various types of paintings (landscapes, portraits, etc.) so it mostly held my interest. The one universal that comes across is if you want to learn how to do something you have to just do it, failure is part of game.

With that in mind I spent some time yesterday morning painting this pear in watercolor. It was a Bartlett that had just ripened. After painting it I cut it up and ate it as part of my lunch so it is no longer available as a reference. We had a rainy day here yesterday so I had the lights on causing the poor pear to be illuminated by several different light sources, hence the multiple shadows. Actually they work to provide a background since I didn't bother painting anything else. I am relatively pleased with how this came out, The problem being that I am not really sure how I get the results I am getting.

I start out with a light color and keep adding washes until I end up with something that I think works. I am sure it isn't quite the approved way to go about making a watercolor, but so far it is working for me.


I was checking out a different pen nib the other day to use for the Nature Journal drawings. The pen nib I was using wasn't quite as fine as I prefer them to be so I was looking at a couple of others to use instead.

To really check out a nib I have to draw something so did this quick drawing of a Seagull. The reference photograph I used was made last winter and eventually I will probably draw this young bird using graphite. Still for just using pen and ink I think the drawing came out fairly well and thought I would show it here.


The Great Horned Owl in the above illustration is from my October 20, 2012 visit to Daniel Webster. It happened to be their annual Farm Day event and they had a couple doing Owl demonstrations. The couple are licensed keepers of wild birds and had brought 6 different owl species to talk about, Screech Owl, Bard Owl, Snowy Owl, and 2 European Owls besides the Great Horned. The Great Horned is our largest american owl and I happened to make a really great photograph of it so it became my image for the day.

This page really should have been done prior to the two I posted in my last update, but it had been quite a while since I had done much work with a dip pen so wanted to have a bit of practice prior to tackling this image. Just as well I think I got better results with the finer nib than I would have gotten with the other one I was using.

I took a bit of license with the image as the bird they were keeping had lost an eye. Loosing an eye is a death sentence for an owl in the wild as without depth perception they can't hunt their prey. Otherwise it was a very hansom bird.


Above is the final image for today. I photographed this the other day, I don't know where the cat came from, though from the look of it I think it is homeless and living wild. I didn't dare get too close for fear it would run off so it isn't the best photo. Still there is something about this image that speaks to me so I thought I would post it.

That is it for today, per usual comments are welcome.