Putting the last of the feathers on involves very fine line work. Right out of the tube the paint is too thick. You can loosen it up with oil or really water it down with solvent. Getting the consistancy right was pretty hard.
Then there are the brush strokes. I’m not completely satisfied with this one but I learned a lot. It will take some practice to really get those long sweeping brush strokes smoothed out. I may try a pin striping brush. They have very long bristles and hold a lot of paint so you can do long sweeps in one pass.
The background elements are kept simple so that the detail of the Heron makes it pop off the canvas. The orange moon forms a nice contrast with the Ultramarine background. The Water Lily forms a mirror image on the surface of the water. Water Lily Mirrorism is one of the Laws of Fluid Dynamics. I read about it in Da Vinci’s book “Fluid Dynamics for Dummies and Painters”.
Nothing says Happy Birthday to your niece like a painting of a Great Blue Heron. I think Da Vinci said that, only with an Italian accent.
I couldn’t show you this one until after her birthday because somebody would have commented on it on Facebroke and the next thing you know Nicki Minaj or Lady Gaga are on it and the secret is out. Another birthday ruined by Gaga Hashtag.
This painting has an interesting ground. Ground is a cool way of saying “what it’s painted on”. This one is on Masonite, I mean “heavy art board” with a layer of linen glued on. Actually it is an old sheet but linen sounds better like I painted it on the Shroud of Turin or something. A layer of gesso nails it all down but it retains the texture of the weave for a bit of tooth.
I wanted a simple composition with 3 or 4 elements. Here is the sketch transferred to the heavy art board.
Now I lay in the background trying not to wreck the sketch.