Gouache Painting Of Curlew For Sale On Fine Art America – Since September 2, 2014, I’ve been making posts, documenting the progress of my gouache painting entitled, “Far Eastern Curlew Wading In A Stream In Siberia”.
My Wildlife Paintings Store on Fine Art America
I’m happy to say that the painting is now complete and prints are for sale on my store at Fine Art America. This painting marks a change in direction for me as an artist. I will no longer be promoting the celtic art I had done over the past 20 years. Those paintings and drawings will remain on my store and on my website but I will only be painting and promoting artwork that shows an appreciation for wildlife, conservation and preservation.
If you enjoy this painting and would like to see how it was created, please check out my previous posts and watch the progression. The first post that explains the brushes, paints and paper used in painting this artwork begins here. If you really like the artwork, please visit my store on Fine Art America. Although there is not much wildlife art there now, that will soon change.
Adding the Signature on Curlew Painting. In this post, I’ll finish the curlew painting. First, I’ll add the needles for the branches on the Siberian Fir tree in the upper right hand corner. I’ll use the color Windsor & Newton Jet Black and a liner. Because I draw with my brush, I always mix a lot of water with my paint which is quite different from most other artists who paint in gouache. In the first photo, you’ll notice that most of the branches do not have any needles. Using some watered down Jet Black gouache I’ll create the needles for the Siberian Fir using a liner. I paint the needles on the Siberian Fir tree. Then, I will add flying curlews to the background.
Flying Curlews in the Background
To accomplish this, I draw the birds on tracing paper and position it over the painting. Once I find the proper placement and composition, I hinge the tracing paper onto the painting using masking tape. Using a 5B or other soft pencil I color the back of the tracing paper turning the tracing paper into a carbon paper of sorts. With the hinge, I can flip it back and forth to make sure it aligns on the painting without having to re-position the tracing paper. This process is rarely successful in one attempt. Before adding the final highlight and shadow colors, I paint a base color using Windsor & Newton Permanent White. Permanent White is the brightest and whitest white and for me, that lightens and brightens any color I put on top of it. Once the Permanent White dries, I add my highlight and shade colors to the flying curlews.
Complete the Signature
I’ll paint my signature and this painting will be ready to sell. About my signature, I like to sign my name inside a rectangle. The rectangle can be positioned to aid the composition or complement the existing color palette.
Painting Feathers and Grass on a Painting of a Curlew – This is part 3 of a continuing series documenting the development of my gouache painting of a landscape in Siberia. In the last post I made improvements to the fir trees on the mountains. In this post I make improvements to the blades of grass in the foreground, background and middle distance.
Robert Simmons White Sable Brushes
Also, each curlew has been finished as well as their reflections in the water. When painting the birds, I used a series of short handle, white sable, Robert Simmons brushes then finish with a pair of Windsor & Newton Regency Gold brushes. For the initial outline, I used the short handle, white sable Robert Simmons #2, round. I then fill in the block color with the short handle, white sable Robert Simmons 1/2 oval wash. For I gradate the highlight color with a short handle, white sable Robert Simmons #3 round.
Windsor & Newton Regency Gold Liners
After that, I paint the feathers, eyes and beak using two Windsor & Newton Regency Gold brushes, a #1 540 round and a #2 520 round. The #1 540 is used only for the finest detail. I find that for painting fine details, the Windsor & Newton Regency Gold #1 540 and #2 520 are outstanding brushes. They use a gold taklon sable and have nickel plated ferrules. They are outstanding brushes if you draw with your brush. I used them 20 years ago when I was painting only with acrylic. I’ve since switched to gouache but I still use them because they are great for artists who like to draw with a brush. I mention this because major art retailers do not carry the Windsor & Newton Regency Gold series brushes. Not really sure why. You can buy them on Amazon no problem. Anyone interested in Pen & Ink can check out my ink drawing blog.
Painting Trees On A Gouache Painting Of A Curlew – This is part 2 of a continuing series documenting the development of my gouache painting of a Far Eastern Curlew bird and a landscape in Siberia. The trees on the mountains in the background were not painted properly in the first post.
Correcting The Trees on the Mountain
In this post I’ll document the improvement and explain how I do things. The trees originally did not look right. The trees which were spruce trees, were sparse and just did not look correct. To make the correction, I first painted over the old trees by mixing a blue color that matches the background. Next I begin drawing the outline of each individual tree. On the left is a detailed close up and on the right are the beginning of the new trees with the entire painting as a whole. I want to make sure that the my new technique is working so I finish the lower left portion of the mountain to make sure that I am satisfied before wasting time doing the whole mountain just to realize that it still doesn’t look right. Once I am satisfied, I proceed to apply the same technique that was done in the lower left hand corner of the mountain to the entire mountain.
Using Glass Palettes to Mix Paint on
Because I like to draw with a brush (similar to pen & ink), I mix my gouache paint with a lot of water. To save money and time, I use a piece of glass for my palette with a sheet of white paper underneath. I like mixing my paint on glass because glass is hard and smooth which is the type of surface you need if you are going to mix your colors with a lot of water. Also, glass will never wear out. I have several sheets of glass with a different set of colors on each one. Pictured left is my mountain colors palette.
New Colors, New Trees
On this particular sheet of glass I have my mountain background blue color, my spruce tree outline and shape color and my spruce tree highlight green. Using a liner brush, I apply the highlight green color to the outline of each tree on the mountain. Compared to the first post, the trees on this mountain are a big improvement. It was worth the time and effort to mix more paint to paint over everything and do all over again.
Protecting the Finished Gouache Surface with Paper
You’ll notice in the photos that show my brush technique, there is always a piece of paper underneath my hand. That is to prevent the oils that are present in skin from coming in contact with the painting. The final thumbnail on the right shows the finished spruce trees on the mountain. In the next post, we’ll work on the grass in the meadow.
Beginning a Painting in Gouache – This is the first part of a continuing series documenting the development of my gouache painting, Far Eastern Curlew Wading In A Stream In Siberia. This painting features Far Eastern Curlews (birds) and a mountainous Siberian landscape. It initially began as a rough sketch. After painting with acrylic paint for years, I recently made the switch to gouache paint. Having not painted landscapes, trees or grass with gouache, I made what had intended to be a practice sketch. I don’t usually photograph practice sketches or monitor their progress.
The result of this practice painting had turned out much better than I anticipated. When I saw that this painting had potential, I decided to start photographing the progress. Having a great love for all things Siberia (mountains, rivers, wildlife) I composed a typical Siberian landscape with a Far Eastern Curlew (bird) wading in a stream. The Far Eastern Curlew is a wading bird native to eastern Russia and parts of China. The paper is 18″ X 24″ Strathmore 400 Series watercolor paper. If you look closely at the edges, you can see clear packing tape holding the edges to my drawing table to minimize warping. At this stage of progress, the stream is finished and most of the grass. The mountains and trees still need work. I will document that portion of work on the painting in the next post.