View Full Version : "Close Formation".....WIP

10-15-2005, 04:15 PM
Its a rainy miserable day and thats the way its been for almost a week.....so what to do?
Might as well be another WIP.....

For the last little while, I find myself being drawn to the idea of "tight/loose" in the same painting, which I am sure was the result of the first Earnscliffe painting I did and subsequent paintings that don't always get posted here.

I also find myself liking the style of www. Morten Solsberg.com who just received a whopping $25,000 cheque for his painting in the "Arts for the Parks" contest.
And that's for a watercolour.....so there's hope.

Along the way, I kinda like to express my thought process's which are...at times, totally boring. Besides, I'd get censored....;-)

Ok....lets get on with it......

I'm going to put the blame on Terry C. and her wonderful rendition of geese.....which got me to thinking.....and running out of hot water in the shower. Ever do that?

Geese....a la Solberg....sketch is on the back of an 8 x 10 cutout from a small painting. See how I mark my thirds....thinking all the time....preplan....best say that now so we can see where I dont do any thinking......
Its supposed to be 3 geese on a mountain fly-past.
No comments?

Thought I had better practice *doing* geese....so I did....
I really like using Burnt umber and FB...it granulates well and really lends to flocculation. Theres that word again....


And another close up.....Later on I defined the feathers in the wings a little more.
Question.....Would the wings on the far side look better this way?
Save your answer....the finished sketch showing the feathers will come up later.


Usually I jump right into a painting......but this time just though I would paste the sketch on the paper.....just for fun......
I painted a mixture of Indigo and FU around the corners and let it lighten towards the center of the full sheet...#300 Fabriano ESEW...
Thats the actual size that the geese will be......with a mountain in the b/g.


Heres the finished trio.....I kinda like this.....so why did'nt I do it on the full sheet?.....damned if I know.
Think they are a little dark....good thing I did'nt paint them on the full sheet. I also think that maybe three is too many.....I lie....I thought about that for a while.....almost 5 mins....by total attention span....but think most viewers would lock onto the geese trying to figure out what wing goes with what bird.
Thats my story....you know the rest ;-)


And a close -up......and if you remember the question.....define rear wings?....then nows the time to answer....
Of course I could always "not define" until its all finished.....and see what it looks like.....but you can always answer anyway....but I also know the comments to that...
Thats it for today.....Gin time....and the sun is out....


10-15-2005, 05:03 PM

This is going to be interesting to see develop. The preliminary sketches and studies already are.

The geese are very nicely differentiated except for the one in the middle's face merging into the far one's face. That is more confusing than the wings, I kind of like them the way they are.

Enjoy your gin and the sunshine. See you when you post again.


10-15-2005, 05:54 PM
Brian, this is going to be great! Glad I got a seat in the front row!! I really like "hearing" your thought process. I know what you mean about running out of hot water in the shower. Something about those water molecules really helps you think, eh?
I'm wondering if one of the geese should be slightly higher than the others so they aren't in a perfectly straight line. And I don't know, they almost look too close together light their wings might get tangles. But I'm no goose expert! LOL
I LOVE the colours for the geese, and my favourite part is that little touch of blue on the wing of the front one. Hope you keep that in the final version. :)


10-15-2005, 06:39 PM
This is going to be super. Agree with Patty on the blue. Keep it. I'll be following this one.

10-15-2005, 08:46 PM
Geese....a la Solberg.............Its supposed to be 3 geese on a mountain fly-past. :D Looks like 3 geese for sure, I can see two side by side and the third splatted into the mountain.. ;) :D

I would pull up a chair, but I am busy drawing out my first full sheet.. :)

10-15-2005, 09:24 PM
HI Gang....
I totally agree that these guys are flying too close...but its from a photo....so I thinlk seeing is believing....

If I get his face out of the lead face, I would have to re-draw the whole thing again.....
Being a lazy old fart....no thanks...but things could change in the long run...

Thats why I called it "Close Formation" they do seem ready to collide...will keep the blue

Go for that full sheet.....and if one of them splatt, it won't be a mountain side....more like a golf course.

10-15-2005, 10:40 PM
Very cool Brian. Enjoying the explanations. Oh, hope these guys don't smack into any hot air Balloons! ;) The formation forms a pleasing abstract shape... :wave:

10-16-2005, 01:14 AM
Brian, I haven't heard these guys or seen them fly over our casa yet, but it will only be a matter of days I'm sure.

Until then, I'm going to enjoy your WIP. It's starting great. BU and/or BS and FUB are great flocculators. :)

I'm giving you my merit point for today because this is already starting out packed with great information.

Whoa! That's weird... I tried to give you a merit point and it said I can only give one per day. (I know that, but I haven't used mine for today.) I'll try again tomorrow Brian. :(

10-16-2005, 04:01 AM
Whew ! Brian !
Love it , love your Geese . you are really into Solberg. Admired him also , years ago.
Eager to see the Finale .

10-16-2005, 11:03 AM
Brian, I can't give you a merit point today either.

What's up with that!!!??


10-16-2005, 02:42 PM
I remember seening his stuff a few years back, but could'nt remember his name, then I saw something of his and did a little research via google and I was in "love" ;-)

The geese must be close....they were here about a week ago.

Sunday PM......
Was going to jump right into the full size, but thought I should try a little guy 1st....good thing I did....is'nt this terrible! However I did learn to take it easy, and with this type of b/g I can always add to it later.


I drew the geese and masked them out. Although a lot of artiists dislike mf,(and that's putting it mildly) at least it lets me free to do the bg without worring about the main guys....
I use Pebeo mf....the colours for the rocks are mostly Indigo, Burnt Sienna and Burnt Umber with some UB at the sky.....hit the sky with some sprayed water from a Windex bottle.....wonder if I could get free Windex for that commercial?
The spaghetti stuff is done with a hair dryer on max....and pointed down towards the bottom of the paper.
I think I got enough watercoloury stuff in there....back runs and blossoms.
I just love doing this....but its so hard not to get carried away....so I learnt from my little painting.
I also read Celeste McCall's thread about popping and hope the geese wlii be " compatable with the b/g.


Looking at the last image, I think I need a little BS somewher to warm it up a little.....will check it out after I do the geese.....
Hope you can see the mf....
I ran the top of the mountain thru the wings to break the line of the mountain and made sure I did'nt run any dark paint thru the wing tips at the bottom. For once I remembered....
Back later when I've finished.....please feel free to comment or ask any question I hope I can answer....;-)


10-16-2005, 03:41 PM
Looking really exciting, Brian. Love the way you've done the background with the runs and drizzles!

I think you just like typing "mf," don't you? :evil: LOL! ;)

I like the freedom it gives you to play with your paints as you have done here. If you had tried to paint around those geese, it would have been a very different painting.


10-16-2005, 05:49 PM
looking good!!!! just wish geese do not crash before finish your painting... they are toooooo close.... ( distance between wings are bigger than from head to head.... )
Love your loose sketches, IŽll stay close to see this developing.

10-16-2005, 08:41 PM
There are too many of us to allow me the luxury of using up all the hot water in this house... :D But, I go to bed thinking of a composition and awake with it on my mind... Surely, something will eventually *take* with all this thinking... :D

When you mentioned Morten E. Solberg in a previous thread, I googled him, too... He seems to have two styles of painting... Some of his wildlife is very Bateman'ish or even Marc Barrie... then, there's this loose drippy stuff that really has impact...

I like where you're going with your experiments... I feel that your tight vs. loose approach is an interesting one... it would add another element to Celeste's discussion thread...

I'm just going to watch and learn... I'm really enjoying your chatter about your thoughts as you plan and paint...

10-16-2005, 09:16 PM
When I saw your practice painting, I thought, OH NO, the geese have crashed into the mountain! :D ;)

But I just LOVE where you are going with this! I think the colours on the geese will contrast nicely with the mountain. So excited to see the finish!


10-16-2005, 09:30 PM
Brian I am enjoying you thoughts and splatters..:)

We are having the longest drought in Queensland History, not allowed to stand under the shower until it runs cold..;)
Bet there is heaps that do tho' shame on them.

I gae you a merit point ......it worked for me..:)

10-17-2005, 09:35 AM

Just about finished.....and I guess that's why I called it 'Close Formation"
Think I'll rename it " High Flying "

And how about his flowers...?

That was aterible painting.....but it taught me that *loose* hasd to be planned....as pointed out in several threads by others. Had to do it to believe it.

We had the same problem here with a heat wave....we took cold showers...;-0

10-17-2005, 10:50 AM
Monday AM.....Done.....
Close up of the geese.....
These guys are ok....sort of....
The three geese are too confusing.....do three, but two togeather and one away from them.
High wing tips are bent too much.....
Make the mountain top thinner....let more of the wings show against the snow....geese could be lighter....
Don't throw paint under the geese....some wiseguy will make remarks ;-)


And finally.......
Kudo's to WC! in regards to all the changes that have been made to the uploading process, making this kind of thing almost full-proof, speedy....and fun.


10-17-2005, 11:09 AM
Brian, I think this is terrific :clap:
Is this a new turn in your painting? It still can be recognized as you -there is no running from thy own self :)

10-17-2005, 12:57 PM
Ale.....Thank you and yes, I think it will be, but will still keep the barns around ;-)
I think you have answered one of my questions concerning following up on this style....does the way one paints follow him around?
In other words, I've started out with one course with Jack Reid, a Canadian painter who could really do snow, good enough to smell it....as he said.
Then Zoltan Szabo with his softness....followed by Tom Lynch....a master at colour and mixing and finally Tony Couch, who has a distinct style from the Edgar Whitney school of watercolours.
My worry has always been that anything I did would not be me.....its good to hear otherwise....thanks again.

10-17-2005, 02:28 PM
What a perfect "volatile" aquarelle !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

10-17-2005, 07:20 PM
:clap: :clap: :clap:


10-17-2005, 07:41 PM
Brian... I was going to tease you about those florals... :D Yes, I studied them!!!

Your painting finished magnificently... I'm especially enamoured of those shapes that echo your geese in flight... The shadows and lines repeating your geese shapes are truly masterful... each one connecting to the next element... I don't know if you planned this, or if it just happened... It doesn't matter, because how ever they got there, it's a testament to your talent and emerging style...

10-17-2005, 08:25 PM

10-17-2005, 09:14 PM
Merci beaucoup Gilberte.....and when are we going to see something from you?....your flower paintings are always an incentive for me and I'm sure, others.

The sound of the clapping is too loud....

I think sometimes that good things just happen.....in other words it's innate or natural.....but I also believe that planning plays a large part of any successful undertaking.....now that sounds like a bunch of BS....and thats not Burnt Sienna...
I got lucky....;-)

10-17-2005, 09:25 PM
I absolutely loved you loosey goosey Heron painting, and seeing this finished painting brought it back to my mind. I am loving your new style!!!

I eally enjoyed reading your thoughts..

Char said................The shadows and lines repeating your geese shapes are truly masterful... each one connecting to the next element...
Yes I was also admiring that.

I have really studied this painting, and agree with some of your comment Brian.. Mainly the geese' wings..

But all in all I think this is a wonderful painting.

You finished it up beautifully..:)

10-17-2005, 10:25 PM
terrific background!!!!!!! YES!!! love your turn to loose style.
still not sure about geese, nice painted but seem a bit pasted on... and agree about snow behind to magnify them...
Guess these are the only birdies you can perform in autumm...