Monday, December 10, 2012

Quick Little Illustration

Great horned owl on a snowy night. 3.5" x 4.75" in watercolor.

As part of my concerted effort to get involved with our new community as quickly as possible, I joined our local art center this summer. Then last month I joined the watercolor society chapter. I was pleased to see it's a fairly active group with about a dozen people at the meeting. Everyone was quite friendly and seemed thrilled to have a new member joining them. At the end of the meeting we were each given a 3.5" x 4.75" piece of watercolor paper and asked to paint a little scene to share at the next meeting - like an ATC (artist trading card) kind of thing.

Since I am still a recovering procrastinator and occasionally fall back into my old ways, I left my little painting until the night before the next meeting. In a panic, I flipped through reference photo after reference photo. I wanted to choose just the right thing as this would be the group's first look at my work. No pressure or anything. I settled on a great horned owl image, and I envisioned a very rich night sky with beautiful stars twinkling in the background. As you can see, only the edges of the paper ended up with the deep rich night sky color I was looking for, but at least the rest of the sky had interesting textures. I'm struggling to master masking fluid, so although the owl mask came out well, (Thank goodness!) what I had meant to be fine points of light in the night sky ended up looking more like snow than stars so I changed my plan a little. Clearly they are just flurries though. Ah well, that's what I get for rushing at the last minute.

Anyway, the recipient of this little painting seemed pleased enough, and I ended up with a lovely sunflower painting from a fellow birder in the group. Everyone seemed to enjoy the project so I hope that we will be doing it again. It would be fun to have a collection of little paintings done by each of my new friends. But I hope to be a little more organized next time.

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