Sunday, April 26, 2009

Red-tailed hawk progress 2

Another progress shot of the red-tailed hawk thesis painting. As before, I got carried away and forgot to take a progress shot, so it's much farther along for a 'second progress shot' than I'd planned!

The corn was surprisingly fun to paint. In addition to exploring each bird's plumage with watercolor, I'm also learning about landscapes and plants through each of these paintings. I've never painted corn before, and now I found a reason to!

For the sky, the detail-obsessed part of me is going, it's too simple! You need to add clouds! It needs to have more color! More more more!. Yet another, more (dare I say it) sophisticated part of me is saying, the sky is fine! Look at morning skies in real life. Often they are cloudless and simple. I think I shall keep the sky as it is. I think with all the detail in the hawk and plants, there needs to be some simplicity in the background.

I also wondered if I've been relying too heavily on the white gouache, so for this painting, you'll notice that there's no gouache in it yet. I think I will use it for the white bases of the feathers on the back, and perhaps for some detail on the leaves.


  1. This is really lovely, I was looking forward to seeing more of this one. The corn is fabulous (to say nothing of the hawk). I just loved the detail of it in the sketch so I wanted to see how it would come along. I really agree about the sky as well. That clear, subtle light is lovely.

    Will you be adding any grass detail behind the hawk, or leaving it simple to emphasis the foreground?

  2. Mmm wing perspective. Gotta love it. The decision to leave the sky clear is a good one as you don't want to detract overly much from the detail of his wings.

    It's funny the things we enjoy painting but may have avoided. Who knew you'd enjoy corn stalks?XD They do look awesome and they create so many fun negative shapes when they're together.