View Full Version : Perched ~ WIP

03-07-2003, 04:32 PM
Happy Friday :)

I have been working on this for the past couple of days and I'm nearing completion. I thought I would wait til I was done and then post all the progress images at once but I just can't wait. :p

title: Perched

size: 15.5"x20.5"

Arches 300lb cold pressed.

Reference photo taken in Siena, Italy. It is a detail of the Fonte Gaia (Joyous Fountain) in the Piazza del Campo where the famous horseback race the Palio takes place annually. I LOVED Siena and will go back someday when I'm not travelling with 40 teenagers and will have plenty of time to wander and take photos:)

Please tell me if my pigeon is too neon. PLEASE!!!!!

You know, I say it each and every thread and I REALLY mean it. If you have a critique for me, PLEASE share. I would like to learn how my art can be better and it's difficult to do that without input from others.

thank you :)


Usual underpainting of French Ultramarine Blue and Permanent Alizarin Crimson.


Light washes of Winsor yellow.....I am trying to be subtle in this painting and trying to get the pigeon as the focal point.


Light washes of Scarlet Lake....again, keeping in mind a light hand with the brush. Added some Cobalt Turquoise Light just to see what it would look like.....I liked it!!!


Continued with the Cobalt Turquiose Light.


Washes of Cobalt Turquoise Light on the pigeon.


Antwerp Blue washes.


Worked on some shadowed areas on the neck for suggestions of feathers and applied the colours for the stripes. Winsor Yellow, Antwerp Blue, Permanent Rose. Washed over most areas with my "black" mixture, Winsor Green and Permanent Alizarin Crimson.


[Note: This thread has been edited; posts that did not pertain to the technique being demonstrated were removed in the interest of preserving continuity of instruction. The Moderators]

03-07-2003, 04:38 PM
*feeling sorry for that angel*

I don' think he is too "neon" at all

Not that it matters now...but as I look at it...I'm wondering about the centering of the composition.....but comp is MY WEAKEST THING...so I am really asking

the pigeon and the head will come out smack in the middle

is that a good thing?

the way I see it at this stage..the head takes my eye right up to the bird....so I guess it works?

This is really my rant...not a critique...

I like hte way you warmed this up on the last pass....it was so cool

Looking forward to seeing the rest


03-07-2003, 07:18 PM
wow!! thanks everyone :)


I toned down the wing a bit and completed the feet and beak and eyes. toned down the sculpture bits at the top and added darks sparingly.

This is different for me. I had to restrain myself from adding too much colour....but I really didn't want the sculpture to compete with the pigeon. DID I SUCCEED? :)

Pam, composition. I was thinking about the composition the whole time I was painting and I haven't really come to any conclusion other than I think it works despite the focal point being fairly centered. Anyone else have any thoughts on the composition being too centered?

thanks for peeking

thanks for commenting

and thanks for critiquing :)



03-07-2003, 07:45 PM

it definitely works

great finish!

03-07-2003, 07:51 PM

This is, to me, one of your most beautiful paintings yet. Oh, what a unique, amazing, beautiful style/technique you have Em. It's always a joy to see what you're 'up to'....:clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

Little Old Lady
03-07-2003, 08:02 PM
Nicely finished. Enjoyed the trip. Love that bird!!

03-07-2003, 09:05 PM
Oh, my.....when I hit the F11 button and the pic fills the whole screen!!!....It's too gorgeous....I love the green on the pigeon's neck...


lyn lynch
03-07-2003, 09:07 PM
Em, it's wonderful. One of your very best.

Unique too, who immortalizes a pigeon? The bird's redeeming quality is the irridesence of it's feathers. I wouldn't mind seeing a bit more of the pinkish color on the crown of it's head to pull it just a bit visual from the granite background, and also on its shoulder and tail feathers for the same reason. He can support just a touch more standoffishness [run in word]. This I see on large and detail. But just beautiful. I am marveled at how you have developed this technique and your willingness to share.

03-07-2003, 09:07 PM
:clap: :clap: :clap:

Thank you

you are an inspiration to us all,

makes me want to reach ...............just that little bit higher,

Thank you again for sharing your beautiful work


03-07-2003, 09:18 PM
Hey em!

this is wonderful, how fun to follow this wip. very inspiring to see others wips and the outcome is awsome.



03-07-2003, 10:05 PM
Great finish. I love the contrast between the colorfullness of the bird and the lack of color in the rest. Very nice.

03-07-2003, 10:14 PM
Great painting em.....really like it and centered or not it looks great......

03-07-2003, 10:15 PM
Wonderful! :clap:

Crystal Owl
03-07-2003, 10:58 PM
Wow!!!!:clap: :clap: :clap: I'm in awe of this one. It's a beaut!


03-07-2003, 11:02 PM
Em, I think this is great (no surprise there)! I'm trying to find words to say why I think the composition works so well and am having difficulty... But I love how the shape of the bird is echoed in reverse in the negative shape to the right of the statue.


03-08-2003, 12:39 AM
Turned out great Em!!!:clap:

Everything is just right. I like how the pigeon is centered - makes him moreso the focal point of the painting. Keep on keeping on!

Susie. :)

03-08-2003, 12:52 AM
:eek: WOW! You're too good! :clap: :clap: :clap:

03-08-2003, 01:37 AM
This is exquisite.


03-08-2003, 03:48 AM
I love it! I love all your work. How do you get so many layers of color and they all still remain clear and bright, not dull or muddy?
The centered composition is fine by me. Another great one. I was thinking about your "Favorite Angel" the other day, but I couldn't remember who painted it to go back and look. Now I know.

03-08-2003, 04:23 AM
wonderful painting em....fresh and beautiful

:clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:


03-08-2003, 04:30 AM

This is your best yet, Em. The pigeon is incredible.


03-08-2003, 05:12 AM
Originally posted by Yorky

This is your best yet, Em. The pigeon is incredible.


Exactly! Technically speaking, it seems to me that the pigeon is the primary focal point and he is in the top third of the painting. The secondary focal point, the angel's face is centered, but it works anyway because the pigeon is what draws the eye before anything else.

Love the iridescent feathers on the pigeon's breast.

03-08-2003, 06:43 AM

Just TOO GOOD! I think the composition is perfect, I can't explain why it works, it just does. It holds my interest, looking at the beautiful carvings, the delicacy of the angel, but everything leads me back up to the pigeon.


:clap: :clap: :clap:

03-08-2003, 08:39 AM
Em, you truly ae a master at your trade!!!!!!

03-08-2003, 01:37 PM
you people make me speechless.

thank you all for commenting and all your praise.

I appreciate you :)


Kari, to keep the colours fresh and not muddy.....I only apply them one at a time and only when the previous layer is dry. They seem to shine through better than if you mixed them.

03-08-2003, 01:42 PM
fookie, I was a little disappointed that the colours around the neck weren't more distinct....but then I realised that how can they be more distinct when the whole dang bird is turquoise?!!! lol

the photo isn't showing it well, there IS pink in the tail....but I'll look at it again to see if it needs some on the wing and the head :)

thanks for the comments


03-08-2003, 07:22 PM
Stellar job! Beautifully done! You have definitely achieved what you set out to do ! :D :D

03-08-2003, 10:03 PM
I'm in awe of your painting, Em!!! The luminiscity that you achieve is remarkable!:) :clap: :clap:

03-08-2003, 10:08 PM
Your painting is absolutely amazing!!! I am in awe...

You note that you use a Sony Mavica FD95...Is that a digital camera? (I have tried using digital but it doesnt seem to capture very well... might be the quality of the camera. The April Artists Magazine has an article on taking SLR and digital photos of artwork...I might try some of their techniques...)

Bravo on the painting!!!

03-08-2003, 11:06 PM
Hi Em.......... 'nother very nice addition to the architecture or angel series.......HO:
Bird is focal point ......color is fine
Composition is fine......man's hand in upper right pointing to focal area, triangle and arch frame focal area, architecture lines lead you around the painting, nothing leading you out of the painting, while brite, bird colors repeated elsewhere in the painting.....
Light source is consistent throughout the painting..
Not sure I would add or subtract......... Was reminded of a song that speaks of being 'safe in the shadow of your wings......"
IF, and that's a big if......I did anything it would be to cool the background behind the angel. While I like the warm color and the feeling it imparts, it does tend to flatten the angel to a near relief sculpture. Assuming there is room for the bird to stand on the head it should come forward from the building. In other words the bird is cool and receeds while the bg comes forward..... darkening that area a bit with a cool should pop her forward more....
Sorry, didn't mean to write small novel.......
Just thinking out loud.....

03-10-2003, 11:05 AM
thank you Olika, Patty, jonquil and Al :)

jonquil, yes, my Sony is a digital camera. it's almost 3 years old and pretty much a dinosaur compared to the newer models. I am quite happy with the photos I get from it though....except when I'm shooting anything red...it tends to flatten and distort colour....but that is a quirk of the Sony's.

Al, I appreciate you mentioning that. Wayne over in the Critique Forum mentioned he thought the bird should be casting a shadow on the angel and I tend to agree.

the whole time I was painting I was debating whether to cool that background but at the same time I wanted it to be almost glowing like a halo. hmmmph. can't have both at the same time. lol maybe I'll just do a touch of shadow "around" the bird and add a shadow on the angel's head.

hmmm still thinking on this one

thanks all!!


Tom Sullivan
01-25-2007, 02:12 PM
Excellent job. Was interesting watching how you progressed.

10-15-2018, 07:58 PM
I was (my luck....:clap: ) directed here through a link, from the monocolor mixes thread....and wow....what a wonderful WIP...its one of the masterclasses...:clap: :clap: :clap: .! There is so much to learn......:) !

10-15-2018, 09:32 PM
Check out other threads by Em, mustcreate, they are all as informative and beautiful as this one is.

You will find some more of them in The Learning Demos, click on the link in my signature line and scroll down through the list to find them.