View Full Version : Whistling Duck --Finished!

07-28-2006, 09:50 PM
:wave: Hey everyone!

I've been working on this for about 3 weeks now - off and on. Seems like I'm going really slow because of the detail in the feathers. What can I say--I love detail, :D

All C&Cs are most welcomed on this-- I need all the help I can get!

9x12 on green colourfix paper
Derwent Artists Pencils and prismas
Dry brush blending method

Ref Pic - thanks to Crias for this marvelous shot!!


Aside from the ref pic, I'm using numerous ref pics for the grasses and some of the bg and grass/reeds are out of my head.

Light source is from the top left and appropriate shadows will be added toward the end.

Once I laid down my sketch I worked on the head. I will not proceed with anything else until the head and eye(s) are completed.


Now I'm laying in more bg and concentrating on the larger feathers.


continuing mainly on the feathers and slowly working surrounding areas...



This photo was taken with different light - sorry bout that! It's a bit darker whereas the other pics are much closer to the actual colors.


I'm changing small things as I go along, esp in the grasses/reeds. I'm also using some artistic license on the feather colors.

Will post more in a day or two.

07-28-2006, 10:42 PM
This is going to be beautiful. Looking forward to the updates...and you have a lot of patience!


07-28-2006, 10:51 PM
This is looking really wonderful!:) I love your attention to detail amazing.:clap:

07-28-2006, 11:09 PM
When I see work of this caliber it's impossible to critique objectively. All I can do is watch and learn. You have a patient touch with your work. Superb beginning.

07-28-2006, 11:36 PM
:thumbsup: Just beautiful!!! Your eye for detail is terrific!
Can't wait to see more of your updates!

07-29-2006, 07:15 AM
Chisaii, this is looking absolutely gorgeous! Love the colors and your delicate touch.:)

07-29-2006, 08:14 AM
Wow, those feathers are wonderful! Great choice of paper. :wave: Wanda

07-29-2006, 08:34 AM
Along for the ride. Absolutely gorgeous, Chisaii!


07-29-2006, 08:53 AM
Wonderful job on this Chisaii!!! :clap: This is going to be gorgeous!!

07-29-2006, 09:10 AM
Wow! This is fantastic...waiting to see more.

07-29-2006, 09:19 AM
This is just superb. I love your colours. :clap: :thumbsup:

Val. :wave:

Rosa Weitzel
07-29-2006, 09:37 AM
:wave: Wonderful feathers, great colors and detail. I'm watching with enjoyment.


07-29-2006, 09:53 AM
This is absolutely fantastic. I don't know how you can get such a beautiful smooth look with colorfix. I've tried that paper several times and absolutely hate it. But everytime I see something as beautiful as this done on colorfix, I try it again and simply remind myself why I hate it so much. I will be watching this one for sure. Love the colors on the feathers.

07-29-2006, 11:22 AM
Y'all are just the best, and I truly appreciate your wonderful comments!!:thumbsup: But I REALLY REALLY invite your critiques and suggestions to help me out with the booboos--hey, I know they're in there!!:wink2:

Compositionally, I'm concerned about the grasses:confused: Wanted to divert the eyes back to the duck whenever possible which is why the grass is going in their various directions--is it working correctly?

For those of you who are possibly interested, I'm using about 90 CPs on this:eek: Needless to say I won't list them!!:lol: :lol:

I tried posting earlier with a couple more updates and didn't get far. Maybe this time it will work.

aart--I really hated colourfix when I first started using it too. Somehow tho, I just kept going and now I've found a technique that really works for me. The one thing this surface has taught me is to use a lighter touch!!:rolleyes: Other things I've found is Prismas are NOT the best for this paper (esp for blending) and the Derwents blend extremely well for me so I'm able to use about 7-10 layers to get desired results.

Like I said, this is going very slow because I'm trying to achieve a certain look. Here's last night's update and I'm continuing on the breast and side feathers and still dabbling with the bg:


Here's the current update:


07-29-2006, 02:55 PM
Honestly, Chisaii, at this point there's really nothing I can see that would be considered a negative. The introduction of the diagonals via the grasses seems to be working very well, giving the piece movement not present in the ref and framing your focal point nicely.

07-29-2006, 03:20 PM
wow! how did i miss this so far:) this is a beaut!:D coming along so well am all eyes:eek:

07-30-2006, 01:51 PM
Thank you Cindy and Paapu.

Small update: I'm very pleased with how the feathers are turning out since I haven't done very many before.

been working diligently on the breast area...

Close up:


Close up of wing feathers:


Full pic so far:


07-31-2006, 07:40 AM
Ah, Chisaii! This is coming along so well. The feathers are so so soft and inviting.

Since you were asking for crits... And really, this is just a nit-picky thing, and could be just me, but... That blade of grass that just kisses the top of the duck's head keeps catching my eye. I'm not completely sure why-- could be that it looks like it's resting on the duck's head, when the angle suggests to me that it's in front of it... Dunno.

Anyway, I'm just really happy watching this develop!


07-31-2006, 08:42 AM
Tess, nit-picky is good because you are absolutely right! :thumbsup: Just wondered if it was me but have been looking at that piece of grass every so often wondering what it was. Thank you for catching it!

Now what to do?? :confused: Maybe shorten up the grass, give the duck a bit more head area?

Suggestions anyone?:confused:

07-31-2006, 08:51 AM
What if you add in a few more blades? I hope you don't mind, I pulled it in to photoshop to show you what I mean (and excuse the sloppy job... coffee is still kicking in.) Kinda like this?


I'm thinking that if you add in a few more, then it becomes a clump, not just an isolated blade. And if it's a clump, that one that's kissing the duck's head will make more sense. Am I? Making sense that is? :lol:


07-31-2006, 09:07 AM
Chisaii, putting the grass with was a stroke of genius. Nothing really useful to contribute except to note that I love that you have the background blurry at the moment and hope you keep it that way.

07-31-2006, 10:14 AM
Actually Tess there is only one thing bothering me about this composition, (Sorry Chisaii), and it is simply the one blade of grass that ends in a tangent to the top back of the duck's head. It needs to go on past, or overlap, or something. Otherwise, when are you mailing it to me? Seriously, this has a really lovely quality to it. Very nice.

07-31-2006, 12:11 PM
Perfectly ok, Tess and it makes it much easier for me to see what someone is trying to say when I have pictures and arrows!!!

Thanks for confirmation on that, Louise! Guess I'll be working on that area a bit!

Maggie, that was the plan--blurry!

Thanks ladies, I do appreciate the help!

07-31-2006, 03:46 PM

This is looking gorgeous, I love your subtle use of color....looking forward to seeing this progress!!

08-01-2006, 07:14 AM
Subliminal message: update update update

So... how's it going? Are you getting it? Inquiring minds want to know. :D


08-01-2006, 11:22 AM
Subliminal message: update update update

So... how's it going? Are you getting it? Inquiring minds want to know. :D


well, not exactly....the house is torn apart right now!! :D I'm totally cleaning out all my supply areas and rearranging!! Hubby is having a (fabulous:D ) mid-life crisis or something and told me to expand my studio and take over more space cuz I was looking a bit cramped in the corner!! He also ordered a new computer for me, ordered several art supplies on my wish-list and is getting me a new (huge!) drawing table (solid wood!!:eek:) cuz the one I've been working on it so rickity and shaky it's literally on its last legs!! So, sadly, the duck is not currently at the top of the list:lol: :lol:

I'm overwhelmed and taking total advantage of this extreme generous behavior while it lasts so please be patient!! (((my bad!!:evil: )

As soon as all is back in order, the duck gets my full attention!!:thumbsup:

08-01-2006, 12:17 PM
Your colours are fabulous Chisaii, and your changes adding the grasses, and the fuzzy BG... :clap:

Well. I was going to mention that blade of grass kissing the duck's head... I think it would be better to eliminate it, or reduce it considerably. And take a good look at the grasses coming from the right. The angles and intervals are quite similar, comparing them with the rest, so naturally distributed.

This is a wonderful piece of work! :thumbsup:

08-01-2006, 12:42 PM
Wow! This is looking gorgeous! I too didn't know it was possible to accomplish such fine detail on AS Colourfix. :thumbsup:


08-01-2006, 01:34 PM
This is beautiful. It is so sensitively rendered...I have just bought a little parakeet. Something about them fascinates me. I feel that you really love this subject - it shows in your wonderful work :clap:

08-01-2006, 01:37 PM
Chisaii, Is your husband clonable? Just wondered........:)

08-01-2006, 01:42 PM
Wow!! Just amazing. I love it. Try extending the blade of grass past the edge of the head and that should take care of it. I almost missed this too, so glad it didn't!

PS. Smart women taking advantage of his mid life crisis! (I just got a new computer, Photoshop CS2, and I'm going to a big annual conference in LA for children's book writers and illustrators. Hm, maybe we have a midlife crisis going on here too. lol)

08-01-2006, 02:22 PM
:eek: Fabulous!

08-01-2006, 02:46 PM
love the colours on this - amazing talent!

08-06-2006, 12:46 PM
Been rather busy with ton o' stuff going on and unexpected injuries :eek: that I wasn't able to work on this guy (or anything else for that matter:eek:!!)

Thanks to everyone who has been commenting and patiently watching.

small update: I pushed back the one weed from his head that was so distracting--is this better? Also worked some more on the breast feathers and a bit more on the left bg area.

Shouldn't have too much more to go on this but it is taking longer than anticipated.:eek:


08-06-2006, 12:56 PM

This is fabulous!

08-06-2006, 01:55 PM
It is gorgeous, Chisaii!!! :clap:

I used PHSH to make clear what I mentioned before about the grasses coming in from the right side... I hope you don't mind!

08-06-2006, 03:50 PM
Fine work Chisaii.

I wonder if the Duck Stamp Contest accepts CPs?

08-06-2006, 11:20 PM
Chisaii, This is looking just wonderful!:) I'm amazed!

08-06-2006, 11:42 PM
Really lovely, Chisaii! Wonderful colors....I'm watching for the updates:wave:

08-07-2006, 12:03 AM
A rich tapestry of colors!
Great composition.:thumbsup:
Beautiful, Chisaii

08-07-2006, 05:03 AM
You mad or what? OMG, this is sooooo great! :clap: :clap: :clap:
(whining mode on) I want to be able to make such great drawings too! (whining mode off)

Honestly, this one is a stunner, i showed it to dragonrider (friend of mine also here on wetcanvas) and he was all "ahhh!" and "ohhh!" and "boah!" too.

Would you by any chance provide us with a closeup shot? I NEED to see how you made that feathers look so real! :D


08-07-2006, 09:06 AM
Been rather busy with ton o' stuff going on and unexpected injuries :eek: that I wasn't able to work on this guy (or anything else for that matter:eek:!!)

Thanks to everyone who has been commenting and patiently watching.

small update: I pushed back the one weed from his head that was so distracting--is this better? Also worked some more on the breast feathers and a bit more on the left bg area.

Shouldn't have too much more to go on this but it is taking longer than anticipated.:eek:


I think you need to extend some of the grass in front of the ducks head. The reed that is sort of vertical is distracting as all of the grasses coming from the right side stop at this point and makes a harsh angle. Not sure if I'm explaining myself properly...but the right side doesn't seem to be as natural looking as the left when it comes to the grasses----just my 2 cents
The feathers and your color choices look amazing!

08-07-2006, 09:26 AM
LM, thank you!!

Raquel, Not at all! I appreciate your doing this! Yes, that makes sense to me and I'll see what I can do.

Jack, ohmygosh--quite a compliment!! That would be some very stiff competition for sure!! Hmmmmm, (file in back of mind for future possibility.......)

Janet and Cindy, thanks!! This one is going slower than I wanted but really trying to make it 'exactly' the way I'm groping:eek: for...appreciate your taking the time to look and comment.

Jeffrey, comp is not my strong suit so your comment gives me added confidence!:p

Morgana, :lol: :lol: http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/07-Aug-2006/62821-laughing-smiley-007.gif You're funny!!! I don't know--from the comments made maybe dragonrider was in severe pain when you showed this to him.....:D
(Yes, will provide your close-ups on the next update).

BA, Definitely appreciate your 2 cts. if I understand what you're saying, some of the grass/reeds originally did extend over in front of the head on the right but numerous comments said to push the grass back away from the head cuz it was distracting. I agree with you that the right side of the grasses/reeds needs some work--this is mostly out of my head and it's really a tough area to work on. Guess tonight I'll go take some ref pics in my back yard and see if this area can be improved (uh oh, the secret is out--my yard is nothing but weeds!!)

All of your C&Cs are truly appreciated so feel free.:thumbsup:

08-07-2006, 09:30 AM
I am in awe everytime I look at this. I just want to stare at it and get lost in the soft feathers. Yes, a close up would be great.

08-07-2006, 12:42 PM
How beautiful this is and will be and soo nice to see it in progress beautifully done

08-08-2006, 10:40 PM
aart and tarotwisdom, thanks!!

The breast feathers are finished and now I'll concentrate on editing, creating and developing the grasses/reeds.

As Morgana requested also attached are some closeups. These were done on a scanner instead of the camera. The green showing in the close up of the feathers is not the paper surface; that is CP. The paper is well covered with multiple layers (10 or so) of various colors.

Does this help?





08-08-2006, 10:48 PM
Wow Chisaii!:) Everything looks so perfect!

08-09-2006, 12:03 AM
Wow!! I came in on this too late. I can't offer any crits because I think this is outstanding the way it is. Your use of color is marvelous. I think this is my favorite piece of yours. :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

08-09-2006, 12:28 AM
It turned out gorgeous!


08-09-2006, 12:36 AM
Beautiful!!!! I'm late, but I'm glad I still caught this one!! :clap:


08-09-2006, 07:02 AM
oh wow wow wow... so beautiful!
Thank you very much for the closeups, great to see how you put the color down to have it so soft and wonderful. Learned something again!


08-09-2006, 07:09 AM
Beautiful! I love the sheen on the feathers. :clap:

08-09-2006, 07:50 AM
Absolutely beautiful, Chisaii!

Thanks for the close-ups. I love how you've implied the feather structure. and so soft looking!

You should be using this ... :smug:


08-09-2006, 08:23 AM
Great close ups! The feathers look awesome:thumbsup:

08-09-2006, 09:24 AM
Chisaii I've been lurking on this one just watching the progress. This is just gorgeous as all your paintings are. I'm in awe every time I open one of your threads.
:clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

08-09-2006, 10:43 AM
This is absolutely beautiful! turned out great chisaii!:) :clap: :clap:

08-09-2006, 10:52 AM
Thank you very much for the close-ups. I've learned so much from this piece. Wonderful!!:thumbsup:


08-09-2006, 12:37 PM
Wow y'all!! You're giving me a rush!!! Thanks so much for all the wonderful comments! Makes me feel like I'm accomplishing somethin'!

You are too kind, Janet, Mariska, Meisie!

Nice to see you again, Greg! :wave: Glad you like this one--it's been the most challenging I think! (actually had to 'think' about it....)

Morgana and Ann, if you feel you've learned something, then I'm deeply flattered!!

JoAnn, I appreciate you coming out of lurkdom to comment!:lol:

Paapu, :wave: Thank you for stopping by and giving me encouragement!

Faula, Tess, artmutt, it is so nice of you to visit and comment! Without all of this WC support, don't think I'd be having as much fun!!:clap:

Will try to update this weekend--hopefully it will be finished!

Thanks everyone!:thumbsup:

08-09-2006, 03:21 PM
It is a delight to see a close up of your masterful strokes...! Great accomplishment! :clap: The colours are gorgeous. :thumbsup:

08-09-2006, 10:00 PM
Stunning! :clap:


08-09-2006, 10:12 PM
Chisaii - this is absolutely beautiful. Your colours and detail are fantastic :)

Flame Lily
08-10-2006, 09:33 AM
This is gorgeous Chisaii! :clap:
The close-up photo's show your precision and attention to form and detail - incredible, I'm looking forward to seeing it finished.

08-10-2006, 09:34 AM
Holey moley -he's stunning! I love the reeds and grasses. This is wonderful and much nicer than the reference photo. You certainly love a challenge! :D

Scott Daryn Tillett
08-10-2006, 12:09 PM
Exceptional Chisaii. Love all that detail and subject.
www.scottdtillett.com (http://www.scottdtillett.com)


Rosa Weitzel
08-10-2006, 12:43 PM
I really love your use of color, your attention to detail, this is just beautiful.
I will be checking back to catch the finish.


08-10-2006, 03:39 PM
wow.... wow... wow :D


08-10-2006, 04:30 PM
This is fantastic. Incredible attention to detail...just stunning! :thumbsup:


08-10-2006, 05:33 PM
Chiz don't over finish the background. Looks great as is.

08-10-2006, 05:35 PM
Love the addition of grass and I love your colors too. Good arrangement/composition. Transcends the photo ref. Excellent work!

08-10-2006, 06:00 PM
Frida, close-ups are always fun!! It's so interesting to see how everyone does their little details!!:wink2:

Cat, Claire and Flame, thanks so much!:p

AbbeyAllen and Scott, I must be insane since those details totally drive me bonkers most of the time!! Thanks for looking and commenting!:D

Rosa, thank you!:wave:

Gord, you're a man of few words :lol: :wave:

Thank you Rita!!:wave:

T-man, thanks for stopping by:wave:

All of your opinions are so important!! Thanks for checking in! Will try not to disappoint at the finish of this flying fowl!

08-10-2006, 08:41 PM
Will try not to disappoint at the finish of this flying fowl!

Just do let the dog eat it and we'll be ok. ;)

08-11-2006, 08:12 PM
For now, this is done. Feel pretty good about this one! Added a few shadows, tweaked the bg, fixed some small areas here and there. In a few days, I'll take another look and see what else needs adjusting.

Raquel, I'm still thinking about the grasses on the right side. Doesn't look like it's changed much and I still want to do something about those similar angles.

Tommy, the bg pretty much stayed the way it was. Hope you approve:D

To everyone who was kind enough to stop by, look and comment, thank you so much! It was a pleasure to talk with y'all and look forward to the ongoing and future projects to be shared!:thumbsup:


08-11-2006, 09:39 PM
Chisaii, I love the red feathers the best. The color is fantastic!

08-11-2006, 10:25 PM

I think he saw us watching him... ;)


08-11-2006, 11:16 PM
this is beautiful to the point where i feel i should just burn my colored pencils while chanting 'i am not worthy.....' :heart:


08-12-2006, 12:46 AM
The color harmony and the abstract quality of this piece are very striking. Nice job. Really nice job.

08-12-2006, 07:19 AM

This one is so beautiful, and i want to tell you i am not at all concerned with the two grassblades there, you just stop worrying about them eh? They follow the angle of the head and lead you right to the eye. There is nothing wrong with them, that is what i feel.


08-12-2006, 08:07 AM
this is beautiful to the point where i feel i should just burn my colored pencils while chanting 'i am not worthy.....'

:lol: You and I can have a bonfire... :lol:

It's gorgeous, Chisaii. Think about entering it in something. Really. Just wonderful.



08-12-2006, 10:24 AM
Chisaii, it was a pleasure watching your progress on this. You did a fantastic job. It's a masterpiece.:) :clap: :clap: :clap:

08-12-2006, 06:17 PM

This one is so beautiful, and i want to tell you i am not at all concerned with the two grassblades there, you just stop worrying about them eh? They follow the angle of the head and lead you right to the eye. There is nothing wrong with them, that is what i feel.


i spent quite some time looking at your painting last nite, really considering those blades of grass, and i have to agree 110% with morgana here: those blades are sturdier and would naturally have a stronger angle, imo. everything else she says is true, too.

leave them just as they be...

and tess is right: enter it somewhere!! pleeeeeze!!! it's a winner. :thumbsup:


08-12-2006, 07:12 PM
:wave: Drinks for everyone!!!:p What a wonderful reception y'all gave me!!:eek: I just came back from Houston (picking up that cabinet I know I told everyone about) and found all of these kind words and comments waiting for me!:clap: Whoo-hoo, what a way to be greeted!:D

Maggie, welcome back!! How was the vacation? Hope you had a grand time and it's nice to have you back!:wave:

Think the red area is one of my favs too! Thank you! I know how difficult you are to please....:lol:

Meisie, I tried to be as quiet as possible....shhhhhh...

Georgia and Tess, NO! No bonfires!!! Chanting is ok, but no fires!:lol: :lol: Actually, it's going to be submitted to two shows at the end of the month--will let you know what happens.:confused:

Weezy, I like how you said that! I didn't know how it would come out but it all seemed to fall into place.:wink2:

Morgana and Georgia, it's always nice to hear both sides of the issue to maintain a good balance. Some like the similarity of the grass/reeds, some don't. One thing I will do is 'stop worrying' about them. Thanks!!

Janet, Masterpiece!?! Not sure I'm worthy of that at all but hey, who am I to argue:lol: :lol: Appreciate those thots!!

Well, I'm trying to work on a project that I promised Maggie I would work on (you know Mags, the 'grey' flower on 'blue' paper:confused: :D) so I better go get something done on that.


08-13-2006, 11:04 AM
Is this thread going to be saved in the sub-forums? It deserves to be there.


08-13-2006, 07:29 PM
Hi Chisaii
I know this is very late (I have been unable to check the site very much this last month) but I just wanted to say how much I love this drawing...the feathers, the colors, the overall composition...is so delicate!!!

This a truly inspiring post and I wish you best of luck with the submissions!!
It is already a winner!!! :clap: :clap: :clap:

08-14-2006, 08:21 AM
:clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:
Hi Chisaii~
Wow this is amazing! I love your painting even though I missed it until now!
Very fine work, I thought the same thing as Jack said way earlier, you should see about entering it in the duck stamp contest. The colors and crop are so unique, I think it's a winner!
So glad you shared this!
~Fae Lynn
PS I rated this thread:D

08-14-2006, 09:20 AM
Fantastic Chisaii! Congratulations on the completion!

Be sure to 'rate this thread'. A five star in my opinion! Val

08-14-2006, 09:47 AM
Congrats chisaii! This is a stunning piece:clap: love the feathers and the all over feel on this one!.

08-15-2006, 06:04 AM
Absolutey gorgeous.

I am just beginning to look and try painting ducks.

Oh, to be this good.


08-15-2006, 04:37 PM
Oh Chisaii...It's everything everyone said and then some. You're very talented. Looks like a stamp candidate to me!!

08-15-2006, 04:56 PM
this is a real keeper for sure - looks like cpsa material to me

love the way the feathers lead the eye around the painting; the gorgeous reds; the muted background....

how many hours!? ;)


08-16-2006, 08:48 AM
Cat and Ethel, thank you!!http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/16-Aug-2006/62821-blushing.gif

FaeLynn, a rated thread:eek:! I'm speechless!! Thank you so much for thinking this WIP was deserving!!

Val and Paapu, your wonderful comments are truly appreciated!!:D

Silverlady, Thank you! I look forward to seeing your duck work!:wink2:

Joann and Gord, :wave: So nice of you to say so!! Duck competition??? Now THAT's intimidating!!!:lol: I didn't keep track of the time on this but I would guess around 25-30 hours or so.:confused:

Take care everyone! I'm off to work on yet another duck piece!!http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/16-Aug-2006/62821-artist2.gif

08-16-2006, 09:48 AM
I love everything about this.:clap: Wanda

08-16-2006, 11:38 AM
Your colors are soft and beautiful. Your comp draws me right in to that eye! Great job Chisaii!!