Friday, January 8, 2021

RECENT SKETCHBOOK STUDIES

 



Bald Eagles are common around here with at least one bird seen every day and in late November last year, up to 8 were together at one time! I never tire of them but seldom get any close views - they are usually in flight or perched way off in the distance. My sketches of them have been hesitant and unfinished but I think I captured something of the powerful character of this bird in the above study.



We visited the Mutton Hunk Fen Park for the first time last year (10 mins from us) and I found this unusual barn next to the parking lot. I did this study trying to capture something of the character of the place which had features I have not seen on any other barn. Later, walking around, I found quite a few owl pellets on the ground under the eaves where owls must have rested. I didn't dissect any of them but they usually contain undigestible matter such as fur, bones and feathers etc.



At Chincoteague, herons (and egrets) are common, and with the continued presence of people walking about, many of them become used to you and can be approached without them flying away. This Great Blue Heron was just by the roadside so I was able to get quite a bit done.



This kind of scene is common around here with the land being so flat, water goes everywhere! There are usually plenty of birds to be seen around too (also deer and wild ponies) so there is always plenty to look at. I think I have got some of the best reference I have ever found down here, hopefully all these studies will lead to some finished paintings.

Thursday, December 31, 2020

MORE LANDSCAPE STUDIES

 



A new study looking across the central marsh of the National Wildlife Reserve at Chincoteague. We visit on a weekly basis and have yet to tire of it. There is always so much to see and paint that I have a hard time deciding what to do next! There are also some great hikes and the beach is accessible from the main reserve, and also slightly further to the south at Assateague Island National Seashore. Of course the main draw for many people visiting Chincoteague are the ponies and fortunately, we have seen plenty of them too! Size of this painting is 5" x 7", oil on canvas.





These small studies (done in my sketchbook) are a way for me to work out ideas and compositions. I keep them small so as not to take anything away from the larger paintings that will be done from these smaller ones. They are all of places I have visited or seen while staying down here on the Eastern Shore.

Monday, December 28, 2020

LOCAL LANDSCAPES

 


This view across the beanfield looks west towards the setting sun and has become a favored one of mine. Consequently, I have done quite a few paintings that look out towards the distant treeline and include the various weather conditions I have seen. This study is one of the first I did of the area and shows the field before the beans had been harvested. Size is 8" x 10", oil on canvas.




Guard Shore Beach is about a 15 min drive from where we are staying and has become a favorite destination of mine. While perhaps not as picturesque as others on the Chesapeake, I like the views across the marsh on the one side and the water on the other. The quick study shown here was one I did when we visited on a cold but sunny morning a few weeks ago and I tried to capture the bright light shining across the landscape and water to the distant trees. Size is 5" x 7", oil on canvas.


Tuesday, December 22, 2020

LANDSCAPE STUDIES

 



After settling in down here on the Eastern Shore, I have begun some smaller landscape studies as a way of getting a little more familiar with the land surrounding us. This study is a view looking across the nearby bean field to the distant treeline with evening back-lit clouds. I'm working on a series of similar scenes such as this so more to come.



 

At nearby Chincoteague, I did this study in the reserve looking across the marsh to the distant treeline. The wonderful clouds were a range of warm and cool colors and made for an exciting morning. Both of these studies are 5" x 7", oil on canvas.

Friday, November 27, 2020

GREAT-HORNED OWL PORTRAIT

 



I started this portrait some time ago using just graphite but it seemed a little flat so I used white chalk for the highlights. Size is 22" x 15".

Monday, November 23, 2020

SKETCHBOOK STUDIES 3


 


White wagtails were common winter visitors on Lamma Island, Hong Kong when I lived there so I took the opportunity to do a number of field studies of them. Shown here are a few that I did.




All these studies were done in sketchbooks, the color ones using watercolor which I found easiest to use in the field.




These studies represent the various races seen during that time, I also saw a Japanese Wagtail (rare in HK) but didn't do any studies of it - pity!




I'm on the Eastern Shore at the moment staying in a house that is well off the beaten track with spotty internet access so posting has been limited. I'll be able to do more when we move closer to town.

Friday, October 30, 2020

SKETCHBOOK STUDIES 2

 



These studies were done at Mai Po nature reserve in Hong Kong quite a few years ago. Mostly I sketched and painted the few Saunders Gulls that were about but also some Black-headed Gulls.



I did a few watercolor studies too trying all the while to capture their unique characteristics.





These smaller gulls have a certain amount of charm that totally captivated me and I wanted to spend days just working on them!




Later in another part of the reserve, I came across some sleeping Shelducks. This is one of the watercolor studies I did of them.