Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas Crane for Mom

Mom requested some bird art as a Christmas gift this year. Several years ago, I had done some pen and ink birds (a series of 6 or 7), and I have a few large prints of them on my office wall. She wasn't specific about which bird, so I did my favorite of the series. As you can see from the photos, the original photo appeared in a magazine ad.

After completing the contour sketch I started to sweat my pen technique (or relative lack thereof), so a scribbled up a rough in my sketchbook. I used a bit of pencil for the shading and decided to run with that on the final art as well—I LOVE my blending tool.
Why a box? Because in my head there was going to be a wonderful watercolor there with a lighting effect that bathed the bird in soft color. Didn't exactly turn out like what I had pictured in my head.
The rose was always part of the plan, but it blocked what I'd planned to be a burnished sunset. It looked a little anemic as just a yellow rose. Considering the final outcome, I should have stopped here...sigh.
Yeah, that's right...blue. It's very blue, isn't it? Really blue, and overpowering the rose. So then the rose needed more color, and then the blue was wimpy. Watercolor out of control.
Finally I put down the paintbrush and stepped away from the paper. Overall, I'm very pleased with the bird. In comparison to the original pen and ink from about 4 years ago, my technique has developed nicely.

Thanks for stopping by!

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