Tuesday, November 1, 2011


Here with this the fourth in the series of young eagles, I have tried to approach this study slightly differently. Working not on watercolor paper but on ragboard, I first drew out the image of the bird as usual and decided on a side view of the head making it more of a regular portrait. This format can look a bit like an illustration if one is not careful and I was worried that this is how the painting would turn out like. Also different with this one was the use of gouache instead of the pure watercolor that I usually use. This would allow me to work on the underlying tones of the plumage without worrying about painting around all of the highlights (such as the lighter tips to most of the head feathers etc). I could then use opaque watercolor later on to paint in the feather highlights. As it turned out, there would be a lot less of that than I had thought. Being somewhat set in my ways, I still painted around most of the lighter tones that I had initially laid down and you can see from the above image that this painting was still built up with thin washes as in most of my usual watercolors. I worked on the eye almost to completion then set the work aside until the next session.

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