As so often happens, words spoken by art instructors come to mind as I begin a new painting. Frank Webb's quote, "It's only paper," comes up at the beginning and often throughout my painting process. With that in mind, and Fran Larsen's "What if? Try it," I forged ahead on this new "egrets in flight" painting. This time I am using a different mix of colors and learning more about controlling the spray of a mouth atomizer.
I put on my blue film to protect the sun and the birds, then sprayed away with a cobalt blue/burnt sienna at the top, and pyrrol orange mixture on the bottom of the long piece of paper. This was a "what if" sort of moment because I was using two color mixes that I'd not before applied in this way. As I sprayed, I questioned how the combination would look as they met. Stepping back, I decided it worked. What do you think?
In my previous egrets in flight I painted the birds next and finished with a landscape for the bottom portion of the piece. This time I decided to create the bottom using more abstract ideas and pen and ink. In this way I am inviting my newer graphic art tendencies into my watercolors.
So now the stage was set for how to treat the next large egret. Onward with dipping the pen!
Finally came the work on the small birds--those egrets left a little earlier and led the morning flight.
I really liked the white images, but decided to make them misty. I applied a gray made with cobalt and burnt sienna, then lightly lifted the center of each bird, creating a softened sort of outlining.
My final "what if" was what if the sun hits the small bird's bellies? So you will notice each small bird has an added a bit of color to their lower portion. I am satisfied that the tiny bit of color helps tie the top to the bottom of the painting.