Watercolor birds

Pelican resting

I did get some time over the holiday weekend to spend in the studio.  Since there is a little bit of down time when using this misting technique, I decided to try and paint two at once.

Pink flamingo

I found these two pictures from a long zoo photography session and thought they might be fun to try.  I got a little carried away with the frisket and in the future I will probably peel off the larger blobs, but I guess that is part of the experience.  Also I am still having a problem with the paper curling with the heavier washes.  I painted these on the Arches watercolor paper which I taped down but, especially with the pelican, I got some stretching that didn’t go down after it totally dried.  I have put them under some heavy books and maybe that will help.

I did most of the initial pen and ink with the water spritz first and then started to painted the birds.  I went back and added some more ink with a little bit of water outside of the birds, creating a little bit of extra grey wash.  When I was done, I decided to embellish their bases and the background a little.  I added most of the wash on the right side of the pelican at the end because I didn’t feel that he was grounded enough.  I think it looks more balanced too.

4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Sarah
    Dec 27, 2011 @ 08:36:48

    Beautiful! I so love watercolor art!


  2. ruthsartwork
    Dec 27, 2011 @ 14:03:57

    It’s been fun to play. Now if I can just figure out the paper issue…


  3. lesliepaints
    Dec 29, 2011 @ 19:39:43

    Excellent, excellent, Ruth! The second one draws me right in and there is that quality of movement and sparkle in both.

    Oh yes, the buckle. Mine always buckle. I use the heavy duty masking tape to tape my paper down. I always wait for my painting to dry, completely, prior to taking my tape off any painting. They always go flat again. The ones that I layer and layer and layer eventually go flat after they have been stored away in the portfolio. Rippling is common in watercolors and collectors know this and don’t even bat an eyelash. I used to worry about it when I first started but my framer never has a problem with getting it to lay flat for framing, so I have just, over time accepted it, too. I have a student who stretches his paper and he still gets ripples while working, but the paper always dries to flat. Hope, by sharing my experiences, it will help you to not worry about it. You can layer and layer and layer on this paper, just wait for each layer to dry.
    The top painting is so cool because it looks like he’s nodding off to sleep and the moon is low in the sky. Very cool.


  4. ruthsartwork
    Dec 29, 2011 @ 20:39:41

    Thanks Leslie. The flamingo has flattened out pretty well,but there was less wash to it. The pelican is still a little buckled at the bottom.where I had a heavier wash. The house is pretty dry this time of year. I rather like them both myself. I am working on a little landscape right now.


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