I Had time to get back to the Lesser Blackbacks today. Most of the time was spent working on the birds. The feather patterns were intricate but they are the feature which makes the painting striking.
The primary feathers and the feintly defined plumage of the head and chest were first worked into a wet Chinese White ground then refined after it dried. I used this method because my batch of Fabriano Artistico HP – which I’ve had for some years – is very porous and soft blending of small brushstrokes was difficult because the paper soaked up the paint very quickly. There is still work to do on the legs and and some touches of foreground detail.
Once the birds were almost complete tonal adjustment of the sea and sandy foreground was needed. It’s at the stage where I will place it in a temporary frame and live with it a while before deciding to send it to an exhibition.
After a month of relative inactivity following my total knee replacement it’s good to get back to serious work again.