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Sunday, November 1, 2009

Launch - Eastern Reef Egret

I feel a little guilty beginning a new painting when I already have one sitting around partly finished. However, I'm able to justify it in my own mind by considering how much I feel I'm learning from each painting project and how much better prepared I'll be when I eventually return to those in the queue!


Having advanced this far with the new painting, I'm feeling much more comfortable where my handling of the acrylic paint is concerned and, as a result, more confident of successfully completing the painting featured in my previous post.

A neat trick I picked up from one of Terry Isaac's books is to draw the subject - in this case a grey-phase Eastern Reef Egret - onto tracing paper. Having pretty much completed the painting of the background rocks, I've then positioned the drawing to best effect based on my earlier thumbnail sketches, and taped it into place. Slipping some white graphite paper under the tracing paper allowed me to transfer the drawing to the painting surface - you can still see some of the residual graphite where the egret's feet will appear.

As I write this, I can't predict with certainty whether I'll stick with this one or go back to the previous piece. I guess this makes me either undisciplined, indecisive or - an artist! Stay tuned for updates.

Cheers
Pete

21 comments:

DennyHollandStudio said...

Oh, Pete, you're definitely an artist!

Peter Brown said...

Thanks Denny! I guess I can look forward to a life filled with anguish and poverty then?

Grahame Butler said...

I agree with Denny 100%, I think we all move from one piece to another and back again, helps to keep the work looking fresh, would like to know more about how you apply the paint Peter, I have acrylics but I dont get them to look like your work, do you thin them down and apply many layers?

April Jarocka said...

Great painting Peter. You put such a lot of effort and passion into each piece you create...Denny's right - you're definitely an artist!

Peter Brown said...

Grahame, my approach is constantly evolving as I search for somewhere to settle, style-wise. With this painting, I've used very thin paint for the background applied in many layers in order to create the soft edges I feel are needed. For the bird itself, and the branches yet to come, I'll be aiming for crisp edges to create the necessary depth and will use thicker paint to achieve the look I want.

Peter Brown said...

April, thanks for your comments. It certainly makes a pleasant change to have a backlog of subjects which inspire me to keep going. All the more reason to plan another trip away to top up the supply of reference photos!

Lynda Schumacher said...

This is looking VERY nice Peter; I look forward to seeing its progress. (Incidentally, though I have always been a drawer and NOT a painter -- or have not considered myself so at any rate -- I bought several tubes of oil paint and a canvas over the weekend. SCARY. hahahaha.)

Peter Brown said...

Thanks Lynda. Having seen the fantastic drawings on your web site, I am sure you'll do a great job with your new oil paints.

James Whitehurst said...

fantastic detail. awesome work.

Colette Theriault said...

Don't fret Peter, working on more than one piece at a time has become the norm at my studio. I used to feel guilty for starting another painting when another was note finished but I quickly learned that rushing a piece to start another is sometimes a recipe for disaster. If it makes you feel better, I have a zebra painting that has been resting on my bench for about 4 years without me touching it, eventhough I pass in front of it countless times a day...just don't feel up to it.

Colette Theriault said...

BTW, this is going to be fantastic! I actually thought it was finished! I love how the crispness of the bird makes it pop out of the painting.

john said...

Hello again Peter, Normally I would never presume to give a fellow artist advice on how to paint, but you seem to be open to suggestions, so here I go. If you want to make the rocks in the background give the illusion of depth, then put a dark glaze in the upper right hand corner, and highlight the rock face to the left of the egret as if a patch of sunlight is hitting them. I also welcome constructive criticism of my artwork, but I guess you have had difficulties posting comments on my blog. Im trying to remedy that.
By the way, last week I almost bought plane tickets to Australia, but South Africa won out this year.

Peter Brown said...

Colette, funnily enough, it was you I thought of when I questioned whether I should start a new painting. I only had to consider your unfinished deer, elk and daschund pieces and figured that if it's good enough for Colette to be working on several paintings and drawings, it's good enough for me!

Peter Brown said...

John, I always welcome constructive criticism and coming from someone as accomplished as you, I'm very receptive to it.

The egret has just launched itself from a rock fig, most of which is sunlit. It may well have the effect you're suggesting a highlight on the rocks will achieve so I'll be most interested to hear your views once I've inserted the branches and foliage.

Peter Brown said...

James, thanks for your comments. I have so much more work to do on this one, but I'm pleased with it so far.

The reference photograph is pretty awful, so I'll consider the greatest achievement to be making something out of nothing!

From The Studio Floor said...

I just love your slide show . The rock wallaby against the rockface is Fantastic. You are great at water as well.... Lovely work

Peter Brown said...

Matthew, thanks for stopping by. I'm exhibiting the rock wallaby for the first time this weekend at a small local art fair. I need a sale to top up my motivation levels!

Erik said...

Hi Peter,
Looking great already, I thought it was a 3D render when I looked at the thumbnail. I agree with John about the light at this stage but we'll have to wait how it looks with the branches added like you say.
It's nice to have several unfinished paintings laying around, I think it gives an atmosphere of raw creativity to the studio :)

Peter Brown said...

Thanks Erik. As my "studio" also doubles as the kitchen, I can't afford to have too many unfinished paintings laying around, but I agree with your comment!

Scott D. Tillett said...

Awesome work Peter. Really Great!

Peter Brown said...

Thanks Scott! Hopefully you'll be able to see the finished result soon.