Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Painting Nests

I finally put the finishing touches on a watercolor of the Annas’s hummingbird nest that fledged several weeks ago.

I think it captures the mood of early spring nesting in Oregon. I will hang it near my corner office as a reminder of this year's chilly spring.

After a year of watercoloring I have learned a few things about myself

1. It is hard to know when to stop. I keep finding little things I want to change or add.

2. It is easy to paint profiles of birds, but difficult to paint other poses. I have gained great respect for artists such as Debbie Kaspari who excel at painting birds in life-like positions.

3. I love painting gray clouds as a background. Good thing I live in western Oregon!

A few weeks ago, I painted a wedding card for a family friend.

I was happy with the poses of the ospreys, but I had a hard time with the bills. Raptor bills look cool, but they are the hardest types to sketch or paint. I think that the background and action take some focus off of the details of their faces, so I am happy with the finished product.

I would like to paint a few more of the nests I’ve seen recently, especially the great horned owls in the previous post, but upcoming commitments are piling up, such as Audubon events, volunteer bird surveys, a mini-field season in New Mexico, and research paper deadlines. Here’s to never feeling bored!

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