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Saturday, January 2, 2010

Paintings 1-4 - Kelly

My 100 Painting Challenge: Birds!
Hello everyone! I'm so excited to be jumping into this challenge with you. It's very exciting, and I know I'm going to learn a lot. I've never done anything like it. I love birds. They are are a huge part of my life, and I want to learn more about them. That's why I'm going to put all my efforts into painting them this year. I want to become fluent in their body language (and be able to paint them quickly). At the end of the year, I'd love to be able to create a bird on the fly without photo references...letting it flow from my imagination, down my arm, and out my paintbrush.

Painting #1: Mr. Red.
I painted this guy with the intention of turning him into the banner for my blog. I spent a lot of time on him, carefully layering in the paint. I had already started to forget the color mixes Laure had taught us, but they slowly came back. I couldn't figure out what type of background to give him, so I left it blank...

Painting #2: Golden-crowned Kinglet
Can you tell I rushed this guy? I did...I spent so much time on Red I felt I had to get this fellow done quickly. I didn't post him on my blog because I messed up and made the eye mask too dark (and he just looked frazzled). I quickly abandoned him and started the next painting after a break. I love the whole practice feel of this challenge. I'm learning to paint birds...not perfect each painting.

Painting #3: Another Golden-crowned Kinglet
Doesn't this fellow look much more sedate? Funny...I was more sedate when I painted him (I had given up the idea of posting on time and decided to take my time with the painting--so no pressure). He's softer and his colors are better blended. I also painted him quickly. I should have painted in a background, but I lost my nerve. I knew I still needed to paint a chickadee for the post, so I skipped the background. I am quickly finding out backgrounds are my nemesis. I need to learn more about painting them...both detailed backgrounds and backgrounds created by laying in color (like the background in the berry painting we did in Laure's Autumn class. Unfortunately I had totally forgotten how to do that).

Painting #4: A Carolina Chickadee
A sweet little bird. He's a little rigid...I don't know how I could have brought him to life...and obviously I was afraid to drop in a background!


Krista Meister said...

Wow, Kelly, you are giving real life to these birds! I am absolutely in love with the red one. So realistic. I can't help you out on backgrounds though - I have trouble with that too. I also like the softness of the varied browns in the branches, and the belly on the bottom bird seems to glow.

Teri C said...

I have always admired your photos of birds on your Blog and these are falling into the same realistic category. Beautiful colors and you have their postures so good. I love the cardinal but chickadees are my fav in general.

Backgrounds are my bane also, so I will be anxious to hear what Laure says. Does every painting need a background? Or can it stand alone?

Gabrielle said...

Hurrah - You're off to a great start! I actually couldn't tell that you rushed the first kinglet. I like it just fine. And I don't think the chickadee looks rigid - I was busy admiring all the different colors you incorporated into a black, gray and white bird.

Remember - don't judge; just paint and then paint again. It is a hard lesson to learn, but will benefit you in the end.

Laure Ferlita said...

Thanks, Gabrielle, you said it well - don't judge!

Kelly, these are great! As to rigidity and rushing, take note of what you don't like, set these aside and do more. Try not to judge.

As to backgrounds, I suggest you go to a museum, get a book like one of the Splash books with a whole lot of different artists or a book by one of your favorite artists and study their backgrounds and see what they do and figure out how they do it.

Using that knowledge, add in a background with the understanding that you may FAIL! AND THAT's OKAY!That is what the challenge is really about - knowledge and trying out new things to grow our skills, find our style and our voices, not about creating pretty pictures.

Kelly said...

...thanks Krista, Teri, and Gabrielle! Laure....thank you too, that is a great idea!

kslaughter said...

Oh my goodness, Kelly, these are just fantastic! I LOVE the cardinal---my favorite bird ; ). I really like the looseness of the branches you have them perched on--really draws your eye to the bird.