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Old 09-05-2017, 04:21 PM
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oldglory oldglory is offline
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Prairie Song - WIP

This is my first attempt at painting a bird - Spent the entire summer putting down small amounts of paint trying to capture on canvas this beautiful and lyrical bird ( not a very cooperative model )- I do not work from photographs, thus, had to spend a great deal of time waiting for the evening moment when these birds would reward me with their appearance - Since I have never learned to draw ( I have always just painted - will do a rough sketch with thinned Raw Umber ) I am not sure I have produced a correct portrayal - Am seeking advice before I get mired to deeply in a quagmire - Your help is most appreciated - Thank you
The painting is 12x20 on Masonite; palette: Cadmium Yellow Light, Rose Madder Genuine, French Ultramarine Blue, Ivory Black ( I do not like using black in my paintings - may have made a mistake here ), Cremnitz White
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Old 09-06-2017, 05:38 AM
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Re: Prairie Song - WIP

It's difficult to critique, Gordon. I like it, it has a charming quality. First think that came to mind is the background. I like the colours of it, but I feel it looks too dark to be a sky. The highlights and shading on the legs seem a bit off. I really like the composition and those are some great yellows. Why not work from photos? You don't have to copy them, but they can help with accuracy. There's nothing wrong with using resources that are available.
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Old 09-06-2017, 05:52 AM
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Re: Prairie Song - WIP

I want to mention that I'm glad you're keeping on painting.
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Old 09-06-2017, 08:09 AM
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Re: Prairie Song - WIP

Phranque - Thank you for your comments - I sincerely appreciate and respect your input - Yes, the sky is to dark - Fortunately the painting is in its early stages and a lot of work needs to be done - Will lighten up the sky and work on the legs - Good point about the photographs - I guess the two reasons I do not use them is, the only camera I have ( besides the web cam I use in my studio for photographing my paintings into the computer ) is an older 35mm Nikon and the nearest photo shop is 350 miles away ( weak excuse ); the main reason is that I really enjoy being outside and observing all the wildlife that abounds on my property - It is quite a challenge to try and paint a moving target - I hope to get better -

With regard to continuing on with my painting, I am devoting considerable time to that endeavor - I make my living as a traditional blacksmith, and sadly, I do not need the income stream that was necessary before; thus, I have scaled back considerably the commissions I am accepting so as to spend more time with my painting and learning to draw -
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" You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream" - C. S. Lewis
"If one loves nature, one finds beauty everywhere" - Vincent van Gogh
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Old 09-06-2017, 09:15 AM
SeanInDublin SeanInDublin is offline
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Re: Prairie Song - WIP

He really is a great color.

It gives the image immediate appeal I think.

Best wishes..
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Old 09-06-2017, 09:48 AM
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Re: Prairie Song - WIP

Sean - Thanks - These Meadowlarks are truly outstanding birds - Their color just explodes out of the grasses - It is always a visual pleasure to have them around, along with listening to their wonderful song -

I like your quote by Giacometti - I am working on my drawing skills in hopes that this will improve upon my ability to put down with greater accuracy that which I observe - I have a long road to travel -
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"If one loves nature, one finds beauty everywhere" - Vincent van Gogh
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Old 09-07-2017, 07:44 PM
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Re: Prairie Song - WIP

I like the head and neck...the colors and details...the slight orange to yellow...I think it's great. That works/nice. I agree...the background is off...and feel the legs/grass need a little attention too. Nice job.
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Old 09-07-2017, 08:04 PM
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Re: Prairie Song - WIP

Animale 38 - Thanks very much for your comments - Yes, the background needs a great deal of improvement - Much to dark - Have started working on that , along with the grasses as you have suggested - I have a hard time with these backgrounds - A constant learning process that I hope some day I will have a better handle on -
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"If one loves nature, one finds beauty everywhere" - Vincent van Gogh
"I'm not performing miracles, I'm using up and wasting a lot of paint." - Claude Monet
C & C always welcome
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Old 09-07-2017, 08:09 PM
SeanInDublin SeanInDublin is offline
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Re: Prairie Song - WIP

I suspected the bird might be one we don't see in Ireland.

The two robins who own my garden are almost tame after the summer.

I'm not sure the Giacometti quote is a good idea really.

Henri Cartier Bresson's "Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst."

Best wishes...
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Old 09-07-2017, 08:52 PM
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Re: Prairie Song - WIP

Sean - Like your Bresson's quote even better - Keeps us humble - To bad you do not have this bird in your area - You would thoroughly enjoy its presence - I am fortunate here, in that I live in an area that is the nesting grounds for thousands of song birds - The Spring migration to this area, by all the different species, is beyond comprehension - Of course, they have already bunched up and are headed South for the winter - Always sad to see them go - We have already had our first frost and these birds understand the handwriting on that event -
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" You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream" - C. S. Lewis
"If one loves nature, one finds beauty everywhere" - Vincent van Gogh
"I'm not performing miracles, I'm using up and wasting a lot of paint." - Claude Monet
C & C always welcome
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Old 09-08-2017, 07:01 AM
SeanInDublin SeanInDublin is offline
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Re: Prairie Song - WIP

I live less than a mile from the sea. The finches, blackbirds and robins do not leave for the winter. The swallows and swifts do head south to Africa.

Ancient rhythms are at work within us all at this time of year.
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Old 09-08-2017, 08:19 AM
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Re: Prairie Song - WIP

Sean - Glad that you have those birds with you the winter long - The only bird that migrates here during the winter is the Snowy Owl - It comes later in the year when the Artic weather becomes to brutal for it to hunt its favorite prey, the lemming - Truly a magnificent bird - Really enjoy them -

So right about the "Ancient Rhythms" - Charlotte and I always said that "our spirits soared on an ancient wind"- I think it is important to remain close to nature and absorb the knowledge that she imparts -
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" You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream" - C. S. Lewis
"If one loves nature, one finds beauty everywhere" - Vincent van Gogh
"I'm not performing miracles, I'm using up and wasting a lot of paint." - Claude Monet
C & C always welcome
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Old 09-08-2017, 08:05 PM
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Re: Prairie Song - WIP

Sean - Meant to mention to you, that living there on the sea must be quite spectacular - Would be such diverse and changing scenery - The storms coming in off the sea have to be an inspiring motif -
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" You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream" - C. S. Lewis
"If one loves nature, one finds beauty everywhere" - Vincent van Gogh
"I'm not performing miracles, I'm using up and wasting a lot of paint." - Claude Monet
C & C always welcome
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