View Full Version : Wren - #2

02-24-2015, 01:35 AM
Some oil brush but mainly Ink Pen. Background gradient and an overlay.


02-24-2015, 03:03 AM
Great painting...
I love background manage...

02-24-2015, 08:51 AM
Enug this amazing, I love the setting for the wren and that background is perfect.

02-24-2015, 12:44 PM
:) Enug :)

I like that golden glow you've achieved here. I didn't imagine that the Ink Pen could do this texture and softness, it's such a real looking bird.

02-24-2015, 02:46 PM
damasoci - thank you, I used tree bark texture overlaid on a gradient.

Comment very much appreciated Christine - I think your fur texture is amazing.

Rachelle, - lots of layers and strokes, as you can see by the s/shot. I used a dry brush for some of the larger feathers but the ink pen for fine feathers and detailing of feathers.


02-24-2015, 10:06 PM
I dunno how You manage to have cats and birds aside, but this is another best-seller! I presume Your avatar gobbled it just after You finished it ... LOL:o;)

D Akey
02-24-2015, 10:15 PM
Nice one! I like the inside of the beak. The worms are not so hot on it though. But I like it. :):):):):)

For what it's worth, in my humble opinion the orange to the left is a bit too powerful for this poor muted bird. It pulls the eye away from the subject. I can see why you put it in though because it livens it up and it would be really plain without that there. But it's not strategically working for you. If you were to introduce color, you would have to pick something that wouldn't kill cock robin, but it would draw the focus to the bird cleverly and perhaps with some more finesse compared with the rest of the canvas.

02-25-2015, 02:21 AM
Dear Caesar- I make sure to keep them apart.:D:D

Mr.Akey - comment re distracting background taken on board. Is this better?


D Akey
02-25-2015, 06:08 AM
Well, yes and no. You have several things to balance. Your solution got rid of the orange dominating the left side of the painting, but it tossed out the excitement of color and contrast. It suffered some from the lack of spice in that it's not so dynamic as you have it. And the painting of the bird and that thing it's sitting on don't have a lot of relationship with the background now. And that's something to consider. It looks like it's floating. It's not so integrated.

It's certainly clearer and the eye goes to the bird. So if that's what you want to say, then you've said it. However there's an in between area in which you can still jazz up the picture, only you have to control where and how much. Where do you suppose that might be and how much? That's the issue you as the artist are ever faced with until you establish the area of familiar tried and true ground based on what you're out to accomplish.

In the earlier piece of the two here, my guess would be that you were experimenting somewhat and set out to paint the bird in a feathery way and were focused on that technique over the picture as a whole. Isolating bits and bobs for experiment and study is well enough, but it might serve you to be also considering the overall look all the time. You're in no rush to a deadline, so it might be a good thing to always provide yourself context so that when you have to translate that to a painting, it's not a foreign notion.

You'll always be thinking as a picture maker this way, and that's what you want to be I assume. And I'm suggesting you might want to also be taking the picture as a whole into consideration at the outset. I understand you're kinda new to painting. But you might as well own this part of it right away and be learning where to put your spice and how much.

Consider what are the tools available to you?
Color, value, character of the mark, what might be in the background naturally that you could employ, etc. And then you could consider what is the relationship between your subject and the background?

Think relationships. A common problem for painters is it's easy to make a lackluster painting by not making your contrast strong enough. And that comes from painting on white or light value. Anything you put against white is going to look super dark. But the danger is to work everything out and find there's no contrast because of all the middle range colors that come later. Believe me it's a shock when I've come to the end of a painting only to find it lacked contrast. It happens, and usually when we're either inexperienced or haven't painted in a while.

Therein lie some of the considerations you may want to hold as you develop your pictures. It's also something you probably want to consider ahead of time so that you know how far to push the star of the painting in order that it can have those things happening. Forest for the trees kind of thing. Comes with experience, and unless you fall back on a known commodity using things you already know work, it's always a bit of a guess.

I'm not going to necessarily go farther with you on this one because I've said enough to keep you for a while. But a suggestion would be to look at some wildlife vignettes, pictures of birds that strike you as what you would want to do. It's a very nice technique you're doing, only I suggest adding some spice to your cooking.

Go Enug!!!!!! :):):):):):cool::cool::cool::cool::cool::):):):):)

02-25-2015, 12:21 PM
As usual dear DA, wise words and a lot to digest. The bird is supposed to be perched on a bullrush so I suppose there should have been more vegetation to indicate this.

D Akey
02-25-2015, 12:32 PM
Vegetation is one idea certainly. But what I was also talking about was the full range of values. It may not have been in the photo so it's a bit of a leap to know how to do this at your stage of the game, although once you know it, you will always know how it works. Some lighting flattens and implies what it is, especially in photography, while in art one often has to create the illusion of dimension, or even enhance it to make it more volumetric, through lighting and shadow. The degree of it is at issue.

For example, I could see the bird feeder thingy having a core shadow with a little bounce light that could pull in some of the grays on the shadow side just to break up the buff color. Also you could introduce some additional colors either in the sky just adjacent to the bird and in the seed and in the feathers, if that interests you as the artist to liven it up in that way. All vocabulary stuff to make it a little more dazzling. Sounds corny, but it generally works to make a painting more dynamic than merely literal. That's the kind of stuff I'm talking about. And when you pick colors for your background when there's not much there, it gives you free rein to invent colors and swash some color in because it works for the painting. May not be in the photo.

Trial and error usually until you get used to it. But right now it might not work so much for color because the bird has set the extremes light and dark and for saturation. The background has to support that and abide by that range you set there. If you go brighter and more contrasty on the bird then you can also kick in some other things in the background. Not always about things in the background. An artist can do a heck of a lot with paint strokes and color mixing.

Hope this clarifies what I'm getting at. It's new. I understand and you are doing such great stuff in such short order I kind of hate to comment with all this stuff. But it's precisely because I see you growing so fast I figure you want to have the input to consider.

02-25-2015, 12:46 PM
I did as you suggested and googled some images - guess what? I found what I think is a painting referenced from the identical photo - same pose sitting on the same bullrush anyway. I'm adding here that the photo I used was with permission from WC ref library. So it's interesting to see how an established artist treated the background. Her style is more impressionist (I think) it's not photo realistic and had bold splashes of colour.

I'm about to go out for most of the day but I'm eager to have another go at that background. :)