Sunday, August 7, 2022

BY THE ROADSIDE

 


Walking back from a day exploring, I came across this view across the meadows. I liked the way the roadside ditch drew your eye into the scene, and on to the thin yellow strip of brighter grasses against the distant treeline. I kept the sky simple in this one so as not to detract from the landscape. Foxtail grasses and wildflowers added interest to the near bank. Oil on canvas, 8 x 10 inches.

Sunday, July 31, 2022

HAMMERHEAD SHARK

 


While walking along a beach last year, I came across two fishermen with their lines strung into the water. I got talking to them, asking about bait and what they had been catching. Just as I was about to move on, one got a huge bite and so started reeling in his catch! After a bit of a struggle, a fin appeared in the shallows and eventually a young Hammerhead shark was pulled out of the water! A series of photographs were taken by his family then the shark released back into the sea. Quite an experience especially since there were quite a few bathers around at the time! This quick watercolor study done in my sketchbook - about 4 x 8 inches.

Friday, July 29, 2022

BIRDS IN FLIGHT

 


I think bird in flight are the most difficult to do and require many hours of study to get them right. Of course you could just rely on photos but this can lead to unusual distortions and odd angles. I prefer to do as many sketches as I can trying to get a feel for the bird - of course this is not always possible when a passing bird only leaves a fleeting image in your mind. But I have used that too and with a bit of work, can lead to some convincing studies like this study of a sub-adult Bald Eagle.



This Black Vulture for example came from some pencil and pen & ink drawings I did a while ago in my sketchbook. I liked the final version so much that I decided to do a watercolor study of the bird in a similar pose.



Like the vulture, this juvenile Northern Harrier was flying away from me - as most of them usually are! But I think I did capture something of its presence. Hopefully the next one I do will be in a landscape setting.




Although this adult Bald Eagle also look to be flying away, it was actually soaring quite low down and almost directly overhead (as they sometimes do). Admittedly, I was close to its nest, so for a while I got some amazing views of this most spectacular raptor. All the watercolor studies shown here are about 6 x 9 inches and done in my sketchbook.

Sunday, July 24, 2022

WILLET RESTING

 



Walking along the shore in winter, we would often come upon Willets, either singly or in small groups. After a bout of feeding in the tidal surge, they would then walk a little further up the beach to rest and preen. I found that this was the best time to slowly approach them and due to the familiarity with other beach walkers like myself, they would usually just move a little then go back to what they were doing before. Often I could get quite close to them and sitting quietly, could do any number of studies. For this bird, I loved the way it was back-lit and with its bill tucked into its back feathers, made for a slightly different composition. Size is 15 x 11 inches, watercolor on Arches paper.

Saturday, July 16, 2022

FLEET STREET ROOFTOP

 



When walking around I often look up to see if I am missing anything interesting above me, and having a love for architectural details, quickly decided to do a painting of this rooftop when I saw it. I heavily edited the actual scene (as I do with most of my paintings), keeping the elements that excited me the most and discarding those that didn't. Mostly this scene first attracted me by the overall shape against the sky, then I saw the effect of the light and shadows and thought it would make an interesting painting. I used acrylic paint for this one (as I have for most of this urban series) but laid it on in the same manner I do with my watercolors - ie, with many washes slowly building up the tones and color until I got to the intensity I wanted. I think the effect of the bright sunshine came through as I had intended and am pleased with the finished work. Size is 15 x 11 inches, acrylic on Strathmore paper.

Thursday, July 7, 2022

BOSTON STREET EATERY

 


We walked past this restaurant a few times. One day, approaching from the south, I noticed this interesting effect of light and shadow. Later I took along my sketchbook for a few studies then back in the studio, I started this one but only recently finished it. This painting is part of my urban landscape series and as usual, I select the components I like and think will help the composition discarding those that don't. I did change a few things in the scene but still, this was quite close to how I initially saw and remembered it. Size is 15 x 11 inches, acrylic on Strathmore paper.

Thursday, June 30, 2022

FALLING INTO NIGHT

 



I think with this painting, I have come full circle with the urban series that I have been working on of late. It started with dawn views across the harbor, then windows and walls in sunlight, now I have focused in on the ending of the day with scenes like this and darker nocturnes that are still works in progress. This painting is an acrylic on Strathmore paper, size is 11 x 15 inches.