View Full Version : Gaka's Swallows WIP

09-23-2003, 07:34 PM
Hi Everyone

I enjoy looking at everyone elses WIP's as it is amazing seeing the painting virtualy come to life before your eyes. This is my first WIP that I have posted, I hope that you find it interesting and the Pics are clear enough for you to see the detail and process that I use to paint my Pastel Photorealism.

This being painted on a half sheet of Grey/Green Canson Pastel paper. In the first Pic I am laying down the background base of greens and Grey/Blue, I have my Pastel dust on a palett and I am applying the dust with a Tissue which has been folded to about an inch-25mm square. It does not matter if I go over the edge of the pencil drawing because I can still see it through the dust. You can see where I have cleaned the background dust off the first set of Birds and the second set has not been done as yet.


It the second Pic I have cleaned all of the dust of the drawings of the Birds and I am now proceeding to lay down a basic tone range of dust which will be the color base for my painting and give me a guide as to where everything is going to be. This has taken me 4 hrs to this point…laying in the background, cleaning up the bird images, re-drawing where needed and starting to lay my bases down.


This is a Pic of my workbox/palett. In this Pic you can see where I have layed out my colored dusts on the palett and I have written the color number next to each color just in case I get confused as to which color I was using or I mix up my pastel sticks, laying beside each color is the cotton tip/bud that I am using just for that color and I also put the pastel stick near its colored dust. You can also see my pink and white cotton buds, files for sharpening, a blue handled file cleaner, Mahl/rest stick and my pastel storage…sorry about the hairy knee!!!!!


End of day one and 4 hours

09-23-2003, 07:57 PM
Gaka!!! Welcome back my friend.... you are an absolutely amazing artist... this is going to be one very special WIP.. I will be glued to it all the way through... thankyou for sharing your techniques with us this way. BTW the birds are they swallows?

Don't mind the added flesh and hairs one bit. :D


09-23-2003, 08:15 PM
yeah...the hairy knee gives it character!!! Gaka...am so glad...you mentioned you'd do one soon and I've been waiting!!! I love swallows, too...know it takes awhile, will be fun watching!!!

09-23-2003, 09:12 PM
Welcome back Gaka.. love seeing your paintings progress...

Chooky :D:D:D

09-23-2003, 11:55 PM

Now I know what you mean by having to have patience.... I can't believe that you spent 4 hrs laying down your background colours.

And thanks for including images of your materials etc...it really help to know what real artists work with.

Please also include close up shots when you get to the finer details.


09-24-2003, 04:21 AM
Hi Everyone

Thank you for your comments

Mo....It is great to be back at the Easel again, It has been a long time. Yep..they are Swallows

Dyin....Time seems to pass so quickly when I am painting. I will be posting my daily progress and I expect the painting will take a couple of weeks with a couple of days of :)

Chook....Hi ya, congrats on your win and a welcome back to the Easel for you also. Loved your Flowers.

Tonii....The close up shots are not the best as I am using my friends non focus digital camera, Welcome to the world photorealism...dont forget to bring your patience and persistance with you!!!!

This is the second Day….I am progressing with the base colors which is very important, but when doing this I am also loosing most of the details that was drawn inside of the swallows. This will be ok as I will correct this at a later date when I start to do the feathers.




Ok thats the base colors completed and tomorrow I will start to add stronger color and some detail.

I usually work 4 or 5 hrs a day as I find that if I work much more than that every day I burn myself out because of the intensity of my work and I can not paint at all.

End of Day 2 and 4hrs….8hrs in Total


09-24-2003, 07:46 AM
Wow, may I say Wow again? WOW! :clap: Sorry being so goofy but I just was amazed at how much time and patience you were putting into this piece. So curious me... went back to see what type of work you usually do (hmmm knew it had to be good but.... wow!). The explicative is alluding me for your work and the way you master a subject. All I'm left with is a dumbfounded WOW. My hat is off to you, you are the master of all detail. (I believe God gave you my share of patience because I have none compared to you! LOL) I'm honored that I'm having this chance to watch this WIP. Thank you so much for sharing your work, your time and your patience! Again, I'm acting the goof, but I can't put into words what an impression your work leaves with me. Photo realism, no I'm sorry its so much better than any photo ever could be.... You produce pieces like I could only wish to see but couldn't.... OK OK OK... got to shut up now... really going overboard... Thanks for sharing.... sharon

09-24-2003, 07:58 AM
What Sharon said! Thank you for posting these wips and the peek at your workspace too :)


09-24-2003, 08:35 AM
Amazing! The patience you have is incredible...
I have seen some of your finished work and been really, really impressed, so this WIP is a treat. Thanks for taking the time to put it together. I'm looking forward to the next installments!


09-24-2003, 10:31 AM
loving the little guys...tell me...do you fix after the base colors? I'm wondering how well it stays there when you go for the next layers...also, do you make mistakes and if so, how do you fix them??? And one last query...do you use anything as a guide? Saw for that lovely straight line??? I would be quite tempted to try this if I didn't have trouble with the dust...but still like to know all about the technique...

09-24-2003, 11:41 AM
Hi again

Dyin....I have used fixitive once in 10/12 years of painting pastels and that was on a 2in-50mm square, I cant see the need for it or I dont have any use for it in the work that I do. The dust base stays there quite well...I suggest that you rub some pastel onto some paper to get some dust, then with a tissue apply that dust thinly to some pastel paper working it well into the paper. Then rub your fingers across the dust and see just how much dust comes of the paper...now if you wanted to put a different color over that dust then you would have a problem as the 2 different colored dusts would mix changing the base color. I put the right base color down first so I do not have to put a different color over it other than the same range as the base color.

"Do I make mistakes".....Do I have to answer?????...Of course I do...but rarely!, most of them can be easily corrected or I rub the mistake off with a sharp pointed rubber and redust the area.

If I drew the straight line in pencil with a ruler I could have painted it in pastel freehand...but it would take too long, so to speed things up I used the ruler and a sharpened pastel to draw the edges of the line and then pushed these lines into the paper with a color shaper and then filled them in.

I may work in passtel dusts but there is very little floating around in the air as I am only transfering it from the palett to the art paper on a tissue in small quantities. I do not put anything on ther floor to protect it as there is very little if any falls there.

Meowmeow....Thanks for dropping in to my WIP.

Greeble....My workspace is so full of art supplies that it must weigh over a 100lbs-40k, 2 trays of oils, 1 tray of watercolors plus 2 sets, Goache, Pencils, Brushes, 5 draws of pastels, graphite and color pencil sets etc etc and I am thinking of building a bigger one so I can put my acrylics in as well. Pity I dont use my art supplies more often, well at least I am ready for the enthusiasm rush!!!

blissfullyunaware....Thank you for your very kind comments...Patience, well I have Truck loads of it when it comes to my artistic and creative work...but I am affraid it disappears when it comes to ex-wives :D Patience is an emotion, control your emotion and you control your patience....just goes to show you I loose control of my emotions with ex-wives LOL


09-24-2003, 11:46 AM
thanks for taking the time to explain all that...hmmmm...maybe will have to try a little test piece.....:D

09-24-2003, 04:14 PM
Coming along absolutely beautifully Gaka, thank you for explaining your techniques so thoroughly... fascinating stuff.

BTW... how many ex wives do you have.:D:D....ooops too personal shouldn't have asked. ;)


09-24-2003, 09:28 PM
"Do I make mistakes".....most of them can be easily corrected or I rub the mistake off with a sharp pointed rubber and redust the area.

Gaka, do you use a Kneadable rubber or a standard rubber(whatever u call it)? Doesn't the rubbing ruin the paper surface. Hence when u redust the area again, the surface will not be as smooth as that of other areas?

Also getting back to your 1st pic,
…laying in the background, cleaning up the bird images, re-drawing where needed
Did you also clean the bird images the same way using a rubber? Or is it because u did not rub it in with a tissue on the bird itself, so u can just shake it & blow off the dust?

the cotton tip/bud that I am using just for that color - did u use it to apply the birds with the bud?Or was it simply for mixing pastel dusts?

I really would like it if you could also post the reference photo(s) as well, that way I could also refer to it & hopefully see from it what you are seeing.... & work out what you are thinking (But I don't want u to spoil the fun/ surprise for all , so if u could include it in the end- would be fine).


09-25-2003, 04:23 AM
Hello again

This is the Third Day......

Sorry the Pic is not to clear…Today I finished of the base colors and you can see that I have started to put down my top colors. When working on the detail in the first 2 birds I take my time building the color up gradually so I can keep some control over the tone and result, rather than applying a lot of color at once and then have to remove it. Once I have established the amounts and layers that I nedd to apply to these 2 birds...then the following 6 birds will be much easier.

I do not use the Cotton buds a great deal from here to the finish as it is mostly detail with sharp pastel sticks. I apply a light layer of color onto the paper and then I work it into the background with a color shaper continuing this process until I get the color tone that I want.



Although I have spent 6 hrs on the painting today it has not progressed a lot visually........BTW the first birds body is about 2in or 50mm...about the size of an average Hens egg.

End of Day 3 and 6 hrs….14 hrs in Total

Mo...Well I have 2 ex's and on my third marriage...Well you see the first 2 were practice, I am a slooooooow learner just like I am a slooooow painter :D LoL

Dyin...If taking the time to explain means that someone gets some advantage from my explanation then the WIP has been a great success for me.

Tonii....I dont use a kneadable erase, I use a PaperMate Eraser which is a propelling type earser and you can buy refills for them. I cut the rubber on an angle to use it. Using a rubber will ruin the tooth and background of the paper so I am very carefull as to the pressure that I apply when using the rubber.

Cleaning the dust of the Birds....When applying the dust base coat I am not overly carefull as to where it goes as it is easy for me to remove the dust....it takes much longer to apply the dust right up to the edge of the image precisely and there is not a lot to be gained. There is very little dust to be blown off the work as the dust is worked into the background grain of the paper. I suggest that you make some pastel dust and rub it well into some vertical standing pastel paper with a tissue that has been folded to about a 1 inch square. After doing this run your fingers across the area and see just how much dust residue there is on your fingers.

The Cotton buds...I use them in the same principal as using a paint brush, I carry the pastel dust from the palett to the painting and apply the color to the work. I do not mix any dusts...they are straight dust colors off the pastel stick.

I will post a reference photo as soon I have finished each set of birds as there are 4 reference photos.


09-25-2003, 09:15 PM
Wow! This is amazing...what a lot of work you have done! This is quite impressive. I am already enjoying looking through it.


09-26-2003, 05:33 AM
This is the fourth Day…

Because I had lost a lot of my detail in the birds when I layered my dust onto them, I have had to re-draw the detail back onto the Birds. After drawing the detail with a sharp black pastel I then push the fine drawn lines into the background base of the Bird, I can then go over this with my top layers of dust and still see my lines though the dust, you can see the detailed drawing on the Wings and tail feathers of both birds. Today I have been working on getting some dimension and definition into the birds. I then continued to work on building up from my base colors increasing the intensity of the color to what will be the finished color.


Not a lot has happend Today...but Tomorrow they should start to get some chatracter and dimension.

End of Day 4 and 5 hrs….19 hrs Total

Thank you for stopping by to check my WIP....Gaka

09-26-2003, 09:57 AM
this is fun to watch, Gaka. Do you know exactly which colors you'll use before you start?

09-26-2003, 10:28 AM
Hi Dyin

Yes I know exactly what I will use, because before I start colors on the blank paper I do small color test to get the right colors that I will lay out on my Palett. Then as I progress and I need another different color, I will do the tests on the L/H side of my painting where I have about 3in or 4in or 75/100 mm of spare paper bordering my painting. There will be lots of different colors and numbers written down the side of my paintings and these are still there when I get the artwork framed.


Kathryn Wilson
09-26-2003, 08:07 PM
Gaka: I'm so glad I didn't miss this WIP!! Thanks for sharing your skill, knowledge and experience with the rest of us and I look forward to more posts. Anxious to see what is to happen with the background - backgrounds are a big puzzle to alot of us.


09-26-2003, 08:19 PM
Oh my Gosh Gaka... this is turning out to be a real gobsmacker!

I'm enthralled ... the details are now taking form on the first swallow, just so looking forward to the next step.

I'm also going to suggest this goes into the New Pastel library under WIP's... brilliant Gaka.


09-27-2003, 12:24 AM
This is the 5th Day.....

I have worked a lot on the first bird, building its dimension and definition in the feathers, light and shadeetc. It is not yet finished and I will come back to it later. I have defined the feathers on the second bird and I have drawn in the third birds detail and applied a reasonable amount of color to the third bird.

I decided that the background was not strong enough and supporting the subjects or pushing the subjects out enough, So I darkened the background and lightened some sections as well. I am now reasonably happy with the background and I will probably leave it like it is. The Birds are progressing well and I feel that they are starting to get some dimension..but they still need a lot more work.



I have spent 26 hrs on it so far and I have questioned my sanity for putting 8 Swalows in my painting, I feel like cutting the end of the paper and finishing off the 3 Swallow painting...too late now!!!!! Oh well, the Birds are progressing well and I feel that they are starting to get some dimension..but they still need a lot more work.

End of Day 5 and 7 hrs….26 hrs in Total

Kyle....The background will stay the same as it is...I did not want to put any other matter in the background as I wanted it too look cold and dull day as well as not take anything away from all of the Swallows as they are all competing for some attention.

Mo....It is now starting to get to a more interesting part of the painting for those who have been following its progress....Sorry it takes so long to get anywhere!.


09-27-2003, 12:38 AM
Gaka, this is coming along great. Does the third bird have a feather from it's wing turned back??? I know, be patient and I'll find out!!! Do you always 'chain your self to your work' when you're doing a painting for so many hours a day? Or are you pushing because you think we're waiting? Because we'll wait as long as it takes! I'm a real slow worker too, and I always find myself bemoaning the fact that I picked too much to do. But it's worth the tiring middle stages to get to the end. Anyways, it's looking really good and I'm having fun watching.

09-27-2003, 02:17 AM
Hi ya Dyin

Does the third bird have a feather from it's wing turned back???
I dont know...if it does I hav'nt see it yet...maybe it's when the wind is blowing it :D Lol

I have no problems once I start painting each day...I just stop when I feel that I have been painting long enough and before I get too tired. I am not pushing myself at all to finish it...I am aware that some people may think that this WIP is very very slow, But that is the way that I work to get the quality that I achieve.


09-27-2003, 05:47 AM
the only reason for my delay in adding my enthusiasim for your work, is this damn computer!!! :mad: ..... I cant tell you how frustrating it is, being able to view all these beautiful pieces, and not being allowed to comment lol ......

Wonderful as always Gaka....... a delight to watch
..... and will be another mouth dropping piece when finished :D

09-27-2003, 06:24 AM
Gaka, the sharpness you achieve with this technique is mindblowing! Thank you for posting your progress. It's no less fascinating for being slow ... that's all part of the process.

Crumby's sparrows, Gaka's swallows ... it's great to be able to share WIPs by artists who achieve such jawdropping effects!

09-27-2003, 07:41 AM
Hi Gaka,

Initially you said I put the right base color down first so I do not have to put a different color over it other than the same range as the base color.

Then on Day 5- I darkened the background and lightened some sections as well.

How did you lighten those areas? By overlaying lighter shades of pastel dust over what's already there or did you need to do some light rubbing 1st before adding the lighter colour? I do recall you mentioning
if you wanted to put a different color over that dust then you would have a problem as the 2 different colored dusts would mix changing the base color


09-27-2003, 08:06 AM
Hi Tonii

All that I needed to do was to put more light colored dust and dark colored dust that I had initially used onto the background, When I layed the dust color onto the colored paper initially it did not reach its full color on the first covering. So some more layers just made it darker and lighter.


09-27-2003, 08:40 AM
You have the patience I'll never have. I would ge bored on a painting taking so long and it wouldn't come out near what yours looks like. You have a talent not many have. I can only hope I come close to what yo achieve. I sure hope you make big bucks on this LOL It's beautiful.

09-27-2003, 11:36 AM
Gaka, Again, no way to put into words your amazing work! :clap: :clap: Thank you for taking the time to share this with us... gives me so much insite! Wonderful... I love these swallows... :D! Take care... Sharon

marilyn h
09-27-2003, 01:06 PM
Oh Gaka! I'm in love with your painting already. It is just so amazing what you do with dust and tissue. Wonderful!

09-27-2003, 11:51 PM
This is the 6th Day…..

There is quite a lot of difference from day 5 to day 6 even thought there was only 6 hours of painting done today, some days you can see a vast improvement and others it is difficult to see any advance in the work at all.

The first, second and third bird are about 90% finished, there is still some work to do under the first birds tail, all the white looking feathers have to be highlighted and highlights are to be done on the large Grey wing feathers. I will not do this until much later in the painting. As I finish other birds I often come back and make some adjustments to the colors or the strenght of the colors and this can continue right to the finish of the painting.



A lot of work has gone into it so far and I am reasonably happy as it is starting to come around and I can see its potential, There is still a lot of fine detail and highlights to be done, but I will do this at a later stage.

End of Day 6 and 6 hrs……32 hrs in Total



Reference Pic's.....Unfortunately these reference Pic's are not a very good quality due to my printer being low on ink. Terrible color and printing.

Luvy.....This is actually 8 paintings in one painting. I tackle each bird as an individual painting...but to spend 6-8 hrs a bird is still a long time for a lot of artists.

Thanks to everyone who stops by to check out the progress, I hope that you are enjoying the journey.


09-27-2003, 11:57 PM

09-28-2003, 02:09 AM

Thank you for including the reference pics. I must say that if I didn't know your past works then I would have thought your painting was the reference pic.Wow!!:clap: :clap: Your vision, skills & knowledge are much finer than that of an SLR camera.

Question: Because you are working from 8 separate photos. How do you incorporate them together? Are you 1stly asking yourself where the light source is coming from, hence adjusting your tonal values of all birds according to your initial decision?
(From my last experience I found it quite difficult to combine different ref pics with lighting coming from different directions).


09-28-2003, 07:17 PM
Hi Tonii

There are 4 photo's that I am working from, 2 birds and a single bird pic makes the first group of three. Then there are 2 birds together and another 3 together making 5 birds and a total of 8 birds. My first consideration is to put them in a position that I think is right for them, I wanted to leave a reasonable gap between the first 3 birds and the next cute one because I wanted to try and make the cute guy the focus of the painting. The only thing tonal that I considered was the white breasts of the 2 central birds as the white breasts would draw your attention towards the centre of the painting and the Cute guy......it is difficult when you have 7 other birds all competing to be the main subject.

As for the light and shade, it is a dull day and the light source is not strong and giving definite shadows etc. So this was not too difficult.....but it is very difficult when you have more than one reference pic and different light sources on either pics.....that is when you have to know the exact shape and contours of the subject to be able to apply the appropriate shadows to make the subject look real.


09-28-2003, 08:56 PM
Absolutely stunningly amazing!

09-29-2003, 12:15 AM
Cheers to you for such a fine lesson:D

ps, Thanks MO for the PM to let me know of such wonderful work in progress!;)

09-29-2003, 01:02 AM
Gaka, these are coming out lovely! I knew they would, but still fun to watch.

09-29-2003, 02:30 AM
End of Day 7…..

I started work on the 4th and 5th birds today, drawing the details of the feathers etc on both birds. Building my colors up to match the previous birds. The bird's character is starting to evolve as well as their dimensions. Today’s work has progressed well.


You can see what I have dome Today...I have completed the 4th bird and done some of the detailed work on the tail feathers.


The end of a reasonably long day and good progress…

End of Day 7 and 7 hrs….39 hrs in Total

Thanks SweetBabyJ, Redsy333 and Dyin for droppin in and your comments.


09-29-2003, 03:34 AM
Hi Gaka,

Your explanations are fully understood....thank you!

From your progress work of days 5,6 & 7, have you been using your shapers at all? Or have you only been using your sharpened pastels for the finer details on the birds?

I can now see what you meant by having the centre of interest on the cute guy. The slope of the line + gap, his expression & white breast proves that. BTW, at any stage during day 7, did you see the need to go back & work/touch up on the on the 1st 3 birds as well?

It's looking fantastic Gaka.!:clap:

btw, couldn't PM you. I think your mail box is full....


09-29-2003, 03:57 AM
Gaka, thank you for this incredible WIP!
Is the 'shaper' visible on the pic of your pallette? I'd like to know what that looks like?

09-29-2003, 05:25 AM
To all of those people who pop in to check out my WIP from time to time, I hope that you are all finding it interesting, informative and enjoyable.

Tonii....I have been using my shapers since I layed down my base coats on the birds. I gently rub the pastel stick across the area where I am applying the color and then I get the shaper and work the color into the background. When I am happy with the color I will use a sharp pastel for detail, shadows, highlights etc.

Did I go back and rework any of the 3 birds?.....I am sure that I would have but I do not recall exactly which area I worked on.

Meisie.....Here is the link to the Colour shaper web site and I have also attatched a photo of them as well for anyone else who does not know what they are or what they look like. I use the grey tipped Angle Chisel.




09-29-2003, 02:16 PM
Gaka, thank you for the info and the photo. I've noted down the tel #
I can see lots of potential for those goodies. ;)
Much obliged to you.

09-29-2003, 03:05 PM
Gaka- You take realism to a new level!


09-29-2003, 03:13 PM
HOLY MOLY Gaka:eek: ...Those birds look so alive....WOW!!! This is fabulous,,,:clap:

09-29-2003, 05:17 PM
Master Gaka - Wow!!!

The patience you render in each and every step is rewarded throughout the piece. Thank you so very, very much for sharing this WIP. I know you must be exhausted because it takes time to paint, then photography your work, post it up with a description, answer all our questions and do it again.

We do appreciate it!

Lovely work on each and every feather. Though I aspired to this kind of detail once, I've learned a valuable lesson... I'm not capable of that much detail and patience.

Enjoy the process! Barb

09-29-2003, 06:44 PM
Bnoonan.....Right now there is no work on, fortunately for the WIP, unfortunately for me as I am going backwards rapidly and the prospects dont look too good. Oh well at leat I am being productive!!!

You are right Barb it does take some time especially the replys, daily reports etc as I am a one finger speed typist, The other 9 are on holidays right now!!! :D But that's a part of the fun....

Nicolart....."HOLY MOLY".....Sssssshhhhhh..not so loud you'll frighten them :D


09-29-2003, 07:33 PM
:clap: :clap: :clap:
I am new here in I'm in awe.........yes this journey is interesting, informative and so ENJOYABLE......!!!!

Thanks so much........taking it all in.


09-29-2003, 08:40 PM
Gaka.... I'm in love with your swallows..... will you be producing prints of these? I cannot afford the original, but would love a print if you do.

ps, Thanks MO for the PM to let me know of such wonderful work in progress!

I knew you'd wouldn't want to miss this show Reds! ;)

come on folks, Gaka is producing a wonderful demo and WIP here.. so give it a 5 star rating ... it's well worth it don't you think?


09-30-2003, 02:01 AM
End of 8th Day…..

It was a 6 hrs day today and it has progressed a great deal, yeah….I am on a roll. I have finished the 4th and 5th birds and I am pretty pleased with them. The little guy that is looking straight at you is supposed to be the subject of the painting as I feel that he shows a lot of character. I painted the darker background behind him so it would push him out more as well as draw your attention towards him more.

Todays progress Pic is much better than yesterday as you can see the dimension and definition in the 4th and 5th birds more clearly, I finished off the 5th bird Today and I also drew all of the detail on the 6th and 7th birds and started to get some color down on both birds also.


This is a good pic to see the work that goes into getting the detail right in the feathers etc…as it must be spot on........WOW I can see the last bird!!!!

End of Day 8 and 6 hrs....45 hrs in Total

This is the reference Pic for the 4th and 5th birds


Mo....Prints?....Probably not, I will have to print some "Money" first LoL. Thank for the encouragement and comments...it's much appreciated.

Ctmobitz....Thank you for dropping in and it is great to hear that you are enjoying the WIP


09-30-2003, 09:45 AM
The little guy is definately the star of the painting...I love waking up and seeing your daily progress. :)

09-30-2003, 10:36 AM
Loving your WIP.........a quick question about your color shapers . You say you use the bevel cut shapers. I have looked them up online at a couple of art supply stores. Found out that they come in various sizes. They mention 02 and 06. They also mention Soft, firm or hard. Would appreciate your info on buying my first color shapers. They offer sets as well.

Thanks in advance


09-30-2003, 01:00 PM
HOLY GAKAMOLE - LOL!! - uh sorry - couldn't resist - this is FRICKin' amazing - I think I commented on this in the A&W forum but I'm just as blown away over here!!! WOW WOW WOW:clap: :clap:

09-30-2003, 03:49 PM
Mo....Prints?....Probably not, I will have to print some "Money" first LoL.

Give me a shout when you do,I'll come and help you.:D

HOLY GAKAMOLE - LOL!! - uh sorry - couldn't resist - this is FRICKin' amazing

Has that effect on me too... I'm in absolute awe and totally in love with this painting.


09-30-2003, 07:03 PM
Dyin....I hope my WIP is your kick start to inspiration for the day :D

Ctmobitz....The choice of color shapre is really a personal choice, I suggest that you go into the art store armed with some pastel paper and a pastel stick and tell them that you want to give each different shaper (White, Grey and Black) a tryout. If they dont like it then go to another art store. It all depends on how hard you like to push your pastel into the background and how it feels for you.

BTDogMom....Thanks for dropping in here as well.....I am finding it very interesting the comparison between the views and posts between the Pastel Forum and the Animal/Wildlife Forum. The views have been more than a 100 different 2/3 Days ago and 24hrs ago they were 5 apart and now were back out to the high 40's...fascinating.

Mo....I will start working on the plates (Printing plates) for the money ASAP and you can check out the WN inks. LoL


09-30-2003, 07:04 PM
Gaka...it IS...thank you!

09-30-2003, 09:12 PM
Mo....I will start working on the plates (Printing plates) for the money ASAP and you can check out the WN inks. LoL

Will take a bit of research Gaka..... but I'm sure with your skills and my bird brain, we can do it. :D


10-01-2003, 03:35 AM
This is the 9th Day…..

Well 9 days and the end is in sight. I went from a great day of progress yesterday to 6 hrs work Today and I still have not finished the one bird that I worked on Today. :(


Bird 6 has a lot of detail and fine lines in the feathers, some feathers are sticking out a little and there are lot of shadows in the feathers also and this is time consuming.

End of Day 9 and 6 hrs…..51 hrs in Total

I took a Pic of the Cotton buds that I use so you can see their shape and contour. I use the flat end sometimes to remove some dust if it is a bit heavy or also to apply larger areas with pastel dust. The pointy ends are great for reasonably fine detail....but this depends on just how firm the ends of the individual bud is. Sometimes the end is a little soft and it goes flat quickly.


I will use a box or more of these per painting....depending on the detail or color variation that I am applying to the painting. To my knowledge they are not available in Australia anymore, but they may be still available in your respective countries. I think that they are produced in Italy.


10-01-2003, 10:24 AM
morning, Gaka!! I use cotton swabs to add light tones to my OPs but I've never seen them with the different end like that. Too bad, they look like they'd be interesting to use. Luckily I can buy huge packages pretty cheap. This is of course, looking great.

10-02-2003, 03:28 AM
This is the 10th Day…..

Today I finished of the 6th bird and completed a reasonable amount on the 7th bird and I put some base colors down on the final bird also……I am pretty confident that I can complete it tomorrow……………



It is all comming together nicely, I still have some work on the 8th birds and then I have to complete the black wire that the birds are sitting on. It will be the last part of painting to do and then give it a final check, touch up, darken or highlight here or there. Then I will put my signature on it and never touch it again...finished


This is the reference Pic for the last 3birds.

End of Day 10 and 6 hrs.....57 hrs in Total


10-02-2003, 12:20 PM
SUPERB Gaka...totally phenomenal:D

:clap: :clap: Beautiful:clap: :clap:

10-02-2003, 12:38 PM
Gaka... to say beautiful, doesn't seem adequate somehow, but it is just that BEAUTIFUL , the little bird in the middle facing the viewer is my favourite one, he looks so vulnerable, as they all do, but it's the expression on the little fledglings face that grabs me... I do so wish you would get some prints done.... can't wait to see the final pic.

Brilliant work, absolutely brilliant.


10-02-2003, 02:24 PM
Gaka, we are all truly enjoying this WIP. I imagine you are getting to the point where you will be happy to see it done but think we will miss watching it progress...tis true...all good things must come to an end...then again, you'll start a NEW one and that is something new to get exited about!

10-02-2003, 02:32 PM
Beautiful, beautiful!
Birds have such characters.......I'm an amateur 'birder' and you captured their birdness so very well. Especially that little focul (sp?) point of yours :D
Do you have a buyer yet? ;)

10-02-2003, 06:11 PM
Nicolart....Thanks for stopping by.

Mo....We all know who's the cutie in this painting...it was the main reason why I started this painting, for my composition, for where my background colors went etc. Hopefully everything works and you are drawn to it.

Dyin....It is going to be good to finish the WIP. I think that I am getting typers tension. I have been collating each post and the Q&A's from The Pastel and Animal/Wildlife forums for an article on Pastels. Hopefully it will be accepted.

Meisie....Thank you for your comments..."Do I have a buyer"...A buyer!!! LoLoLoLoL Everyone who sees my work in real life loves it until I mention that filthy word "Money" then they suddenly don't like it thaaaaat much!

Lets say this takes 60hrs to complete, a week and a half's work, I could make over $1,200 a week if I was living in Sydney being the very good sign writer that I am.....So that's $1,800. Now I think that my Artistic ability is worth more than sign writing........But I doubt very much if I could get more than $1,800 for my Swallows. Am I being cynical...sure...I guess I am lucky that I paint for passion and not for profit.


10-02-2003, 06:19 PM
You just need more exposure, in the right galleries, Gaka. Your work is top notch and I've seen higher prices on lesser work. But we all know how hard it is to get that exposure. So it's a real good thing you paint for passion...but remember...never say never. :D

10-03-2003, 01:00 AM
This is the 11th and final Day…..

Well I finally completed the paintingToday..............Today I completed the final bird and then I checked all of the birds and painted the highlights that were needed, I also darkened some shadows that needed to be brought up to equal tone as the rest, highlighted the feet and defined areas that needed some attention. Then I completed the electrical cable, finally I signed my name on the bottom of the page and I will never go back and work on it again. My signature is not quite where I usually put it because I did not write it long enough.....but that’s as good as I am going to do it.


The Main subject....
On the finished painting you can see where I have made the background darker and leading towards the Cute guy in the middle. There are two lines of darker green comming up from the R/h side under the wire heading straight for the cute guy as well as one coming in from the left side under the wire. You can see a single line going vertically from the Cute guy's head. If you Eyes follow above the wire from the Left and travel across the painting to the right you drop into the hole where the Cute guy is and the same goes for the other side. Hopefully this creatse enought attention making him the subject of the painting.

And a closer Pic....

Unfortunately the Colors are not quite exact as the original due to various light sources etc. The original background is a Grey/Green color but I think you will get the idea..

End of Day 11 and 5 hrs….62 hrs Total

Size 470mm x 340mm or 19in x 13.5in

I hope that you have enjoyed the journey of my Swallows progress even though it was a long a drawn out WIP. I hope that someone has gained some insight into how I produce my photorealism pastels.

Thank you for your comments and interest....Gaka

10-03-2003, 01:16 AM
did not mind that it was long at all!!! Everything works wonderfully to make the cute guy the star of this piece. Such a shame we can't see this full size...my eyes keep traveling around looking at all the little details. It's exquisite! :clap: :clap: :clap:
Thank you for sharing!

10-03-2003, 01:43 AM
Wow Gaka.... Your painting is absolutely superb!!:clap: :clap:

I thoroughly enjoyed going on this fascinating journey with you... (it was almost as close as if I was watching you paint).

I have learnt so much from the process & thank you for answering those questions of mine in great detail.

Even without your final explanation of the changes in your background, I'm sure we would still be able to pick out the focal point.

What a journey it has been.....

Thank you Gaka...


10-03-2003, 02:02 AM
Love to watch an expert at work. Really love this painting. Great job as usual. I think I did one of these birds in Oil. Along time ago. *S* But didn't look this good LOL Are these waxwings? Or just sparrows?

Here's mine


10-03-2003, 02:57 AM
Hi there

Phew...glad thats over..I drink very little alcohol...BUT I am sitting back in fronta da puta with some chippies and some bubbly alcoholic stuff...Hic oooops Wheeeeee

Dyin.....Oh, but you can see it in real life if you like...you just gotta get on a plane and come to Cairns in the sunny tropics of northern Australia....LOL

Tonii....Pleased to hear that you have gained some information and insight into the "Over the top" world of photorealsim.

Luvy....I checked out you painting, great painting Luvy and yours is not the same. These are Swallows...They fly around quite fast and they dip or dive down very close to the water. They also make Mud nest under the eaves of houses, under bridges etc. I done a quick check for you...they are called Purple Martins or tree Swallows in Florida. The Martins breed in spring and summer in Florida. They are all over Florida, North, central and south.

Gaka Hic :D

10-03-2003, 03:20 AM
Gaka, this has been such a wonderful journey. Thank you again and again for this WIP.
Apart from the knowledge gained there was the sheer enjoyment of seeing this artwork take shape. Those little guys are the cutest and the cutie in the focal point cannot be missed. No matter how my eye travels the painting, it always ends up on him!
You did a terrific job! Congratulations !
And one day when we travel to Oz (as we hope to) I'll remember to come look at your little guys! :D

10-03-2003, 08:11 AM
Takes my breath away!
The "cute guys" in the middle are adorable, but the painting itself is not cute at all, but a thing of beauty.
Man, you've got me gushing!:)

10-03-2003, 08:18 AM
Hey Gaka!!!
Sorry mate, I've been in WC very little as of late (you know why) and only caught the tail end of this!!! You know I think you're king and you've proven it again. I'm one of the lucky ones here who can actually visualise every step in clear detail having watched you work for a couple of hours in person (remember the leaf??? . . I still have it . . an original Gaka!!)
Congrats mate . . .another fine job!!!!

I'll give you another call soon
Your friend Crumby

10-03-2003, 11:00 AM
Meisie....You and I both gained from this WIP, I gained in the pleasure of sharing and you gained in the journey and the creation of a painting along with many others.

Sundiver....The cute guys are certainly the heart of the painting, Thank you for your kind comments.

Crumby....Great to hear from you mate, I was a little concerned as I do not have your Ph No. Hopefully the "Arty" moments you cherish will live long in your memory. Take care and talk to you soon.


10-03-2003, 11:17 AM
Gaka, I can not say anything that has not been said before. Literally I sit here with tears in my eyes because this is such an astounding painting! Thank you for your willingness to go through this process and share it with us. I'm so with Sue when she said you need the right exposure... The right gallery, your work should bring at least 5 figures if not more!!! Take care, your humble admirer....


Kathryn Wilson
10-03-2003, 12:29 PM
Gaka: I have been watching in fascination as this work has progressed - it's wonderful and I am thrilled for you!! AND, for the rest of us who get to view this over and over again at our leisure.

Are we all invited to come and see you in OZ?? LOL

:clap: :clap: :clap:

10-03-2003, 07:46 PM
Blissfullyunaware.....There is an market somewhere in the world for every product or painting etc....all you have to do is find the market....Having said that, it is a very large haystack to find that needle :D Thank you for your comments.

Kyle.....I am re-writing the WIP including Q&A to submitt for an article so it will be available to re-read in the future hopefully. Are we all invited to come and see you in OZ?? LOL .....Geeeeezz if only we were all millionares, we could do World trips to see everyones live demonstrations, exhibitions, workshops, studios etc etc .....Oh well I guess that WC is the closest that we can get!!!


10-04-2003, 05:48 AM
As you know Gaka, I'm absolutely in love with this beautiful piece of artwork, but must say what a joy it has been to follow from beginning to end, a WIP which I personally found fascinating watching the little fledglings and their individual characters emerge..... not to mention the skill executed in their development.

Thank you Gaka for taking the time to share this beautiful piece of work with us.

Good luck with article too.


10-05-2003, 05:22 AM
I don't get to this forum very often, I just pop in randomly when I have time and wow, what a great day to find this thread. Just gorgeous! Thanks for the detailed WIP.


10-05-2003, 10:30 AM
Mo.....Thank you for your comments....If I ever get any prints done you'll be the first to know.

Julianne....Thank you for taking the time to look at my WIP, You'll have to pop into WC more often or you'll never know what's happening.


10-14-2003, 01:25 AM
found your WIP just as I was going to crash for the night...well 1 hour later and I made it to the end but have joined the thread so I can find you again tomorrow. These little birds are exsquisite(spelt wrong). I am fascinated and have learned lot from the tools you have used to make this masterpiece!!
And your work station?? Boy do I have a lot of catching up to do LOL...just got my first set a week and a half ago...now I am up to 35 colours...and will be adding q-tips and tissue and that fancy tool u use...saw those the other day at the art store but didnt know what they would be used for.Now I know!!
Do you have anymore WIP in pastel floating around??
Darn Newbies eh??!!

10-14-2003, 06:58 AM
Hi there Crazyartist2000

I am very pleased that you found my swallows WIP....sometimes the smallest piece of information can make the most dramatic changes to ones paintings, It sound like you have grasped a lot of usefull information in the WIP.

Dont worry about my workstation....40 plus years ago I bought my first small box of oil paints, so you have years and years to got your collection together, beside I am a compulsive buyer of books, tools and art supplies!!!

I have an article in the Pastel Forum opening page, It is pastel Macaws....darn newbies!!...not a problem...I was a newbie once and for me to ignore you would be very selfish and ignorant of me to do so.

Macaw article link http://www.wetcanvas.com/Articles2/14892/269/


10-14-2003, 09:02 AM
Thanks Gaka..heading there now.
So you know...I am nuts about birds...in B.C. I had 3 budgies and 4 cockatiels(my girlfriend adopted them when I couldnt bring them back to Ontario with me. I now have 2 budgies and my daughter has 2 lovebirds and a kitty. I am looking forward to being abled to attempt one of them soon :) Thanks again!!