Saturday, August 23, 2014

Ring-billed Gulls

I set out to paint the Willets (previous post) before my semester ended and I determined that I would just paint willets for a month.  I felt the need to focus on something specific and since I'd taken about a thousand photos of those willets I had something that was both the same and offered enough variety to keep going.  I'm particularly interested in the brown birds which can look so alike at a glance but really do have specific differences.  In this case it's the Immature Ring-billed Gulls.  I have a lot to learn in making these paintings which I'm making in the same manner as I made the mountain paintings.  I try as much as possible to paint exactly what I see for as long as I can.  Unlike the mountains, where if the complexity of the image overwhelms me and I get off track no one can tell, these bird paintings are a real challenge to stay focused.  With a few exceptions I determined it was best to work on them all at once.  I determined this after spending several weeks trying to make the worst painting I've ever made that started out fine but got worse every time I touched it.  I'm not so interested in making a bird painting as in maintaining my focus through complex imagery.