I am beginning to paint some highlights and shadows on the feathers of the first cormorant. Again I am using Winsor & Newton gouache paint with liner brush. For the highlights, I use Yellow Cadmium Pale mixed with Permanent White to make a highlight colors for the feathers in sunlight. Some of the darker highlight colors will have Jet Black and less Permanent White. For the shadow, I took Pthalo Blue, Cyan Blue, Jet Black and Permanent White to make a variety of shades for the feathers in shadow.
For the brushes, I used several liner brushes that ranged in sizes from 0, 1 or 2.
Painting Feathers on the Golden Eagle – The photos in this post shows progress on the head, beak and the feathers of the golden eagle. In the near future I hope to have video of this process since watching a video of something being built or created is much more satisfying than merely seeing a progression of still photos.
When painting the feathers, I used a variety of colors warm and cool colors from Windsor & Newton Designers Gouache brand. For the warm colors Burnt Sienna, Raw Sienna, Cadmium Yellow Pale, Brilliant Yellow, Orange Lake Light with Burnt Umber and Jet Black as a base. For the cool shadow colors, I used Primary Blue, Pthalo Blue and some Permanent White. Regarding brushes, I used a Windsor & Newton Regency Gold Series 540 #1, Robert Simmons #2 White Sable Round 785 Series and a few others.
Painting Talons on the Golden Eagle – The progress has been slow but everything is looking good compared to 6 months ago when this painting was headed for the dumpster. Anyway I added the base coat for the feathers and realized that the talons and the branch that they were gripping needed to be completed before the feathers.
Finished the talons and will resume work on the feathers soon. Painting the branch and the talons gripping the branch I used some of my favorite brushes. My Windsor & Newton Regency Gold #1 Liner and several of my Robert Simmons White Sable Rounds, #2, #3 and #4! Great brushes! Also in the photo is my Italian made palette knife that I’ve had since the 1980’s!
Drawing and Painting Feathers On A Great Blue Heron. I’ll draw the feathers on our Great Blue Heron using a 2H pencil. I chose a 2H because it is not too hard or too soft. Pencils like HBs or Bs tend to leave a mess and too soft for my liking. Harder pencils like 2H or 4H are much cleaner. However, they are still soft enough to make a visible line you can paint on. I always use a sheet of paper under my drawing and painting hand to prevent the oils from my skin from damaging the surface.
Painting on the Pencil Lines
Using a Windsor & Newton Regency Gold 540 brush, I paint over the pencil lines with a blue gray color that is darker than the heron’s base color. After the paint is dry, I take an eraser and erase any part of the pencil lines still visible. After I erase the pencil, I go back with the Regency Gold 540 liner and smooth out the lines for the feathers.
Beginning a Gouache Painting of Blue Herons and Lily Pads – It’s time to start another gouache painting. Great Blue Herons with a lily pad pond is the subject of my new painting.
Another Gouache Practice Painting
Like my previous painting, this painting was simply a practice sketch to figure out how to paint streams, ponds and forests on a sunny day. After working on it for several weeks, I decided it was good enough to sell and that I should document the remaining progress on the painting. Therefore the beginning stages of the painting had not been documented. I can however explain how and why this scene was chosen to be in the painting. Having a love for the Canadian Rockies and the Pacific northwest, I created a landscape with mountains in the background. I also wanted to maintain my theme of wetlands conservation by having a stream, pond or marsh in all of my paintings. This painting would include a pond with lily pads surrounded on both sides by meadows of bromegrass. For now, only 2 great blue herons are visible. I expect there to be more herons in the background before this painting is finished. The paper is 18″ X 24″ Strathmore 400 Series watercolor paper. In the next post I will show progress on the grass, the lily pads and possibly a base coat of paint for the two existing herons.