Friday, January 22, 2010

Goshawk in the Pines

Here is the second of the pair of paintings based on an inspiring quote by Helen Macdonald on her blog Fretmarks, which reads- "And then I thought, decidedly, yes. Goshawks are water. Falcons are air and hot stone. Goshawks are water and wood."

Below is the graphite drawing. Rick Lovell, an illustrator and an instructor of mine at SCAD-Atlanta, pointed out a confusing 'connection' of tail with branch which you can see below. I fixed this previous to starting the finished painting.

I'll admit, although falcons are my favorite raptors, I like this painting more. The falcon painting, which can be seen in my previous post, was on hot-press watercolor paper, whereas the goshawk painting is on cold-press. Hot-press is much smoother and thus is wonderful for tight details, but it comes at a price; paint seems to 'slide' on the surface and doesn't soak in as well. Perhaps I simply need more practice using it. Regardless, I like the way I was able to control the pigment in the goshawk painting better.

1 comment:

  1. I think you should totally send these to Ms. Macdonald. I don't know a person who wouldn't like to know their words inspired such lovely pieces!

    Mmm I don't personally like using coldpress, but I just love the way it gives your bird paintings such a lovely texture that goes along with the naturalistic themes. Gradients blend so well and I can't deny the richness of colors because they can soak in so much better with the toothy paper surface.

    I like this one better than the falcon as well. There's something about the composition of this one that captures the feel of the potential action of the bird as it sits, ready to launch on prey below. It's so interesting to see a bird doing something other than soaring, which is a far too familiar pose (not that I don't like the other one, but rather the variety is nice). All the attention to detail in the bark and pine needles also make this a visual treat.

    Funny as it seems the goshawk painting has more tight detail than the other, which seems more organic and flowing. While this one feels far more controlled and less surreal than the falcon painting. As a set, I don't feel they match, for their moods and presentation seem different, but they are both lovely on their own, regardless!