It was interesting to read Linda Besse's recent blog post in which she discusses how her ideas for a painting evolve. In the example she's chosen, she talks about her plans to superimpose some bighorn rams onto a dramatic mountain background which bears no resemblance to the one in her photo of the rams. She also mentions flipping the intended background image horizontally and rearranging the group of rams for a more dramatic effect. These are skills I'm yet to develop fully and I know I'll have to work on this aspect of my art if I'm to succeed as a painter of wildlife.
In the subject I've chosen for my next painting, I'm relying to a large extent on a single photograph once again, but I've given a good deal of thought to the placement of the various elements within the image. With the work of Robert Bateman in mind (as it often is!), I've drawn up some thumbnail sketches in which I've echoed the shapes defined by the egret's wings in the foreground rocks. I've also suggested some linear flows through the rock to the left of the egret which continue on through the bird and into the rocks in the background. It'll be an interesting exercise; the trick will be in implementing these ideas with enough subtlety so as not to have the finished painting look too contrived.