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Thursday, November 5, 2009

Leaves and Feathers


After a couple of false starts, I've zeroed in on the palette of colours best suited to the rendering of the sunlit fig leaves and it's full-steam ahead, one laborious leaf after another. Thankfully, when I tire of leaves, I can always return to the egret's feathers for some light relief!

While I've always been drawn to the loose brushwork of the impressionists, my chosen subject just doesn't lend itself to such an approach, so there's a slow progression as I carefully define the leaves and branches.

Cheers
Pete

20 comments:

Amanda Russian said...

Pete...gosh your work is good...such 'photo realism'-I enjoy seeing how your painting developes.

Peter Brown said...

Thanks for your generous comments Amanda. I didn't set out with the intention of being photo-realistic, but I just can't see any other way to tackle this subject!

Sophie said...

Wow, looking good! I'll keep watching!

Peter Brown said...

Thanks for watching Sophie!

Candace X. Moore said...

Hi, Peter. Really like how the background recedes, making the foreground subjects almost vibrate. Nice combination of loose and tight rendering. How big is this piece?

Peter Brown said...

Thanks for your comments Candace. This is certainly proving to be a useful exercise in the use of hard and soft edges to enhance the illusion of depth. The painting measures 36" x 18".

DennyHollandStudio said...

I'm attracted to the loose brushwork of the Impressionists as well, but you're right, painting birds lends itself to very tight work. I feel too wound up in my work sometimes trying to get every detail just right, often at the expense of the painting. That's probably my biggest goal right now- to loosen up!

Can't wait to see the finished painting, pal!

Erik said...

Great! I like how the direction of the branch adds to the speed of the picture.

Colette Theriault said...

One word Peter...AMAZING!!!

Peter Brown said...

Denny, a friend told me her painting group would prepare for a painting session by dancing to some evocative music. The aim was to shake off inhibition and get the creative juices flowing through movement. If you happen to try this technique, we want photos!

Erik, yes, I like the way the direction of the branch forms a continuous line through the bird. I didn't have to manipulate the reference shot at all - it's just as it appears in the photo!

Colette, thank you very much - we'll see!

john said...

Peter, Do you mind if I steal this composition. The branch really makes the painting. It will be great to see the completed work. The world does not need another impressionist painter anyway.

Peter Brown said...

John, as I sifted through my photographs after out last trip north, this one caught my eye immediately. I agree that without the branch the image wouldn't have nearly the same impact. The "finger" on the end of the branch which echoes the inverted shape of the bird's foot somehow adds to the effect. Luck and Mother Nature can take all the credit for the arrangement as I've copied this aspect of the photograph exactly!

Jeremy Pearse said...

Pete, this one is coming along very nicely and could be your best bird painting yet! I especially enjoy what you have done so far in terms of composition and tone. And also because the painting reminds me of the many Reef Egrets I have seen, drawn and painted while living in Hong Kong, this is a bird close to my heart too.

Peter Brown said...

Thanks for the encouraging comments Jeremy. I have several more photos of reef egrets so I'm sure you'll see them feature in future paintings.

Sally McLean said...

I love the way you have created depth by contrasting the rocks with the crisp sunlit bird and leaves. I also like the illusion of movement generated by the tree direction in relation to the bird. A wonderful composition!!

Peter Brown said...

Thank you Sally. I'm actually enjoying the process - not something I'm often able to say!

Gary Keimig said...

A great rendition. By golly you have nailed it Peter.
Loved the comments on tightness versus loose painting. I used to worry about what I thought was so tight in my work and always worried about loosening up then came to the realization that I was painting what was me. Love the loose styles a lot of folks have but that is just not me.

Peter Brown said...

Thanks Gary - good to see that you're back at the easel and blogging again.

I think it's only natural when we're starting out that we copy the style of those artists whose work we're attracted to. It takes a while for our own very individual style to show itself.

April Jarocka said...

Beautiful Peter! When I saw the comment about photorealism I smiled...
hope to be back in the drawing seat myself soon.
All the best
April

Peter Brown said...

April, thanks for visiting. I hope you can get back on an even keel soon.