Monday, 19 January 2015

Common Loon painting for a BirdingPal!

As recently recounted here, I visited Minneapolis last November and whilst there, met up with a local birder, Bob, who I'd got in touch with through BirdingPal. We spent a very full morning (commencing at dawn) visiting various fine birding spots around Minneapolis, and both the birds and Bob's excellent company made it one of the highlights of my trip. I got a fair few life ticks and wouldn't have been able to get to nearly as many different places on my own.

I wanted to send Bob a small gift to say thanks so decided to do a painting. When I asked what his favourite bird was, he said probably Common Loon (he is so Minnesota). I was very pleased about this as divers are amongst my favourite birds and I love to paint them. I worked from a photo and am pretty happy with the painting overall. The part I enjoyed painting most was the Loon's head and neck, I really like depicting iridescent plumage and specifically chose a photo that showed it well for that reason; the beady red eye is always nice too. The chequerboard back was a bit fiddly but came together at the end! So far in my paintings and drawings I haven't made much effort with backgrounds - the focus is on the bird and I am usually limited for time, also I find backgrounds much less interesting to depict than birds! However I felt I couldn't get away with that in a more 'proper' painting, so made a bit more of an effort. I'm mostly happy with the background except the water just to the immediate left of the bird, it doesn't look quite right to me - but hopefully the reflections in the foreground (which I was happier with) and the bird itself pull focus away from any shoddier bits.

The completed painting.

Framed painting.
I've sent the painting off today, so let's hope Bob likes it! :o)

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