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.

Monday, June 27, 2022

PEREGRINE FALCONS AT DUSK


 

The shrill 'rek rek rek' calls of a peregrine came from behind me as I stood in the falling light watching the sunset. I turned to see two peregrines in the air, one chasing the other and calling all the while - I guessed that the aggressor was chasing the other bird from its territory and stooped on it a few times. It then turned and came back towards me passing quickly overhead and was soon lost to the darkness. I made a few quick initial studies in my sketchbook trying to remember what I had seen and later did the above watercolor with the intention of capturing the encounter with this bird - one of my favorite falcons.














The quick sketchbook studies shown above are all about 4 x 4 inches. The Peregrine At Dusk painting is 11 x 7.5 inches, watercolor on Arches paper.

Sunday, June 19, 2022

DEEKAY'S BROWN SNAKE

 



This is I believe, a young Deekay's Brown Snake (apparently they are somewhat difficult to identify). Usually the snakes I see quickly disappear but for some reason, this one just lay there in a half-coiled pose which allowed me to get some great reference. The drawing was done in my sketchbook then finished when I got home adding washes of color but keeping the illustration rather simple. Lately I have been working on these types of paintings and illustrations for a future project - I'm now up to number 87! I think that I'm over the half way mark but not sure how many will be used until I get closer to 150. I think that seeing them all laid out in front of me will help too. Hopefully the final 60 will come a little quicker as now I can finally see everything coming together.

Thursday, June 9, 2022

SPIDER CRAB

 



We found this crab along the shoreline and since it wasn't moving about very much, managed to get some real close ups. At times like this, I usually lie in the sand to draw. Compared to other crabs, Spider Crabs aren't much to look at - in fact they are perhaps a bit frightening! I got talking to a crabber emptying his crab pots some time ago and he mentioned that he always threw these ones back as they tasted rather nasty!

Monday, May 30, 2022

GREAT BLUE HERON

 


I spent some time watching this Great Blue Heron stalking the water around Swan Cove Pool, Chincoteague NWR. Being winter, the somewhat grey day didn't do much for the bird's plumage but I liked the interesting interplay between the tones and colors of the water and that of the bird. The heron was occasionally catching small fish but eventually flew away to try it's luck somewhere else. The drawings I did in the field later translated into this painting. Size is 12 x 9 inches, watercolor on Grumbacher paper.

Friday, May 27, 2022

EVENING LIGHT II

 



A recent commissioned painting. I tried to keep the mood calm and tranquil relying on soft slightly blended colors without any harsh edges. Size is 18 x 18 inches, oil on canvas.

Sunday, May 15, 2022

OSPREY AT DAWN

 



During most of our stay near the harbor, I would wake early and go down to the nearby boat dock both to see what was about and also to greet the new day. One morning just as dawn arrived, an Osprey flew past with a medium-sized fish in its talons. The image stayed with me so recently I did this small painting and tried to capture that encounter.




When I had finished the Osprey watercolor, I did this drawing of another Osprey carrying nesting material remembering a bird I saw in southern Virginia. It had calmly swooped down and scooped up a talon-full of dried grass that had washed up on the shoreline totally ignoring the sunbathers and beach walkers that were all about! Both these works are sized about 12 x 9 inches.