Monday, January 24, 2011

There still remains detailed work to do on the head around the eye and the black tip to the beak has to be added - left until the end after the background is finished. There is much evidence of the use of 'bodycolour' on the bird and I've mainly used traditional Chinese White for this because it is a warmer white than Titanium. The danger with using bodycolour for me is that it can lead to tight drawing because of a preoccupation with detail. I'm not a realist and my preference with watercolour is to go for direct expressive brushwork. This will show up in the treatment of the background which can be handled more freely.

I put the painting aside for a while because a buzzard appeared again to browse on the field with the usual magpies and jackdaws. So I was able to study his behaviour through a telescope. I tried sketching two or three variants from what I saw of the bird's walking movement but they weren't very convincing. I have though shown more of the bird's left leg to give a better sense of balance.

I've also warmed up the background by working pure colours into a wet ground of Chinese White and letting them run. To tone in with this I've also made the bird's plumage warmer and worked up details. The pose proved to be more difficult than I expected so I'm pleased it is now finished.