Wednesday, April 28, 2010

April Sparrow


April Sparrow, 8x8, oil painting on canvas panel.

I had such a fantastic time painting a sparrow yesterday that I'd thought I'd do another but this time challenging myself to change the composition (to a square), keep a higher and warmer key, use Gamblin's "environmentally friendly" Torrit Gray, and switch to a new (and better) brush cleaning method (baby wipes as recommended by oil painter Kevin MacPherson.)  I thought that was enough for one afternoon.

I did a much more careful drawing (I think of it more as a design or organization of shapes) than I normally would, but I find that helps for then in turn having more freedom with the colors. As I tell my students, when you paint think values, shapes, then color--even if that's what really inspired you in the first place.

Next week I'm hoping to branch out (no pun intended) to some other birds. I'm determined to take as many of my own photo references as possible to work on this series, so I'm planning to head up to Barr Lake State Park in Brighton where hopefully I'll find some willing feathered models.  I see the Barr Lake Bird List is quite extensive! And I also see where our Denver Zoo has some special days where you can arrive early just to take photos. 

While I'm not a very strong photographer, I think this would be great way to get some wildlife photo references, which is never easy living in the city as I do. Also, if you enjoy animal oil paintings be sure to check out Maryland artist Mark Adams work. His cats are wonderful and I love his oysters too!

As always, thanks for visiting! Please don't hesitate to email me if you have any questions about my art, private classes, or Monday group workshop which starts on Monday, May 3.

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