It is so lovely to be able to paint from my own reference photos. I do not have to worry about any copyright issues, and I have the experience of actually having been there. It does feel different to paint a bird that I have been able to study in its natural habitat. That way the photo just becomes a visual aid to get the details right. The rest I can paint from memory.
Pied Stilt. Oil colours on canvas. I think the canvas is 35x20cm, I forgot to check before I sat down to write. I am not totally sure that I like the background as it is. I think I would like to fill in the whole canvas. This way of painting would be great with watercolours, but I am not sure it looks good on a canvas. But that is what is so great with oil painting, I can change my mind anytime I want and continue to paint. And if I decide that I liked it better this way, I can just paint over it again. I will look at it for a few days and see what comes to mind.
Sketchbook. Before I started to paint the stilts on canvas, I did a few thumbnails in my sketchbook. This is a great way of working out the composition before you actually start the painting process.
This is one of two Stilt species that lives in New Zealand. It immigrated naturally from Australia at the beginning of the 19th century. I see it every time I go down to the river mouth.
Then I have also started on a companion piece to the swan I shared with you last week. This time I started with painting the canvas in a warm burnt sienna colour before painting the swan. This is now the first layer of oil. I think I will try and paint this a little more loosely than the previous swan, but let's see how it turns out.
Stay safe everyone!