Friday, May 24, 2013

Egrets, Days 9 and 10

© Ellen Blonder
Big changes. I read an article recently about a relaxed brain being necessary to making intuitive decisions, so I went for a walk to try to figure out what was bothering me about this painting. I realized the egrets were too much the same scale, making the whole painting feel flat. I redrew the one on the left, and moved it away from the foreground. I'm still not sure if this is going to work, but it feels better.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Egrets, Day 8

© Ellen Blonder
More work on the leaves today. 

Monday, May 20, 2013

Egrets, Day 7

© Ellen Blonder
Slowly filling in leaf details. 

Friday, May 17, 2013

Egrets, Day 6

© Ellen Blonder
Today was about adding details to the cycad trunks and darkening the background.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Egrets, Day 5

© Ellen Blonder
At the end of a day painting leaves, I wanted to give a trunk some dimension. There's no way to paint this without simplifying drastically. The birds have to be painted later; they're going to look rough for a while.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Egrets, Day 4

© Ellen Blonder
Filling in leaves... This is going to take a while.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Egrets, Day 3

© Ellen Blonder
For a change, I'm going to try painting the leaves in back before the ones in front, so I don't have to paint in between so much. Much of the cycad on the right will be covered eventually.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Egrets, Day 2

© Ellen Blonder
Figuring out the right shade of blue for the sky before I get too far on the cycad leaves. The leaves that I started are way too bright, and the values of the blue and green are too close.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Egrets, Day 1

© Ellen Blonder
Our Kauai friends let me know when they were power-mowing their field so I could take reference photos for a cow egret painting. I've long noticed them flocking to any mowing equipment, which must agitate all the bug life to create a feast. I ended up taking over 200 photographs, although many were a blur.

I've been sketching from the photos for a while, and had a whole separate layout that included nine birds, but I settled on this, with two birds because if felt like a stronger layout. Here's the sketch transferred to a 22 x 27-inch canvas with the first part of underpainting. I plan to put several cycads in the background.