Saturday, June 29, 2013


Last month after completing the painting for the San Diego Co fair fine art exhibition, I began work on three more paintings. This piece has been my main focus because of another art show that is coming up in August. I wanted to enter something last year but did not have anything ready. It is not a big painting, only 9” X 12”. I felt that a smaller piece would be easier to complete in time to meet the dead line for the end of July. The picture I used was one I had taken at La Jolla shores on New Years Eve. I was able to get off work early so I decided to go their for a walk and I am glad I did. I have been wanting to do some paintings of shore birds and since these little buggers where out and about, I took as many pictures as I could get of them. It was not easy because they don't like to sit still for vary long. My goal is to do some more paintings using the photographs I took that day.

This is the photograph I used for this piece.

I started out by painting the whole board to represent the color of the sand that is just under the water. After a couple of tries with different browns I ended up using a mix of Raw Umber and Unbleached white and let it dry overnight.  

Next I painted over that with a wash of Cerulean Blue and Titanium White for the water. It was not quite matching the color of the picture. So I added some Alizarin Crimson to the mix. It still took a couple of layers of thinned down Titanium white in the end to finally get the color to look right. Each layer I did I let dry overnight before proceeding with the next one.

Once the background was done it was time to start painting the bird. As usual I began with a basic outline and then proceeded to add color to define it. things went pretty smoothly for me but I did come to the point that I told myself to stop and move on. It did seem easier to do with this piece. Maybe I am getting better at that! 

The big white spot just below the bird was a gouge on the board that I was trying to repair. I should have fixed it before I started. You can still see it a little bit. Oh well, it adds caricature to the piece.

The reflection was an area I was apprehensive about attempting even before I started the piece. And yes everyone, I doubted my abilities again! Once I did stepped out and just do it! It was not as difficult as I thought it was going to be. Still, taking that first unknown step can be scary some times!  As they say, "Faith is like a muscle, you have to exercise it to get stronger"! 

The Finished piece

The whole time I worked on this painting I used a method of doing a little work, let it set overnight and then come back and see if I need to change anything. I even took the painting into work to get some different lighting and it really helped with the progression of the piece. Monday night I put the finishing touches on the painting and I guess I still can't believe it is done. I have been going over my, “to do list” and it is exciting to be checking things off. Still have a month before the deadline. Maybe I should do another one.

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