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Old Saturday 12th January 2008, 18:42   #26
Woody
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tweaking, tweaking, always tweaking! Mind you, you know what you're doing, it's when I tweak that things go wrong, sort of "if it's not broken, let's take it apart and see why not". Tweak away, this one is I believe going to be my favourite of yours.

He! He! When I tweak I do it with little brushes, your tweaks tend to be a little more industrial strength and can turn a wren into a falcon if you're not careful!

Actually I admire your bravery with paintings, if you're not happy you dive in and bash a picture about 'til it gets into the shape you wanted it to be in the first place. Or, failing that, you start over!

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Old Sunday 13th January 2008, 10:19   #27
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Agree with all the above- loved watching the progress of this one. It's been horrible weather here for ever as well but now with the all the festivities over lets hope for lots of those quiet weekends and more time to get back to our art
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Old Monday 14th January 2008, 09:02   #28
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Sunday was, as predicted, cold, wet, grey, windy. It seems the reserve is preparing for spring though, the cattle have been moved and the fields are being flooded. Water is pumping from the dykes onto the grass via huge, bright blue tubes. The extra standing water has brought in the curlews and lapwings together with wigeon and teal in large numbers. No sign of the merlin (spotted her briefly on Saturday) but plenty of signs that the peregrine was about, flocks of lapwing and wigeon regularly exploding into the air and swirling about making fantastic liquid shapes in the sky before settling back among the tussocky grass. Marsh harriers are regular on Elmley but they seemed to be taking advantage of the wader and wildfowl flocks on Sunday, six seen at the same time bothering the flocks with low level passes, no doubt looking for opportunities to lessen the numbers. Bird of the day though, without doubt, was an adult female hen harrier. She was hidden fairly close to the road and we put her up inadvertantly. She briefly quartered over the mud giving lovely clear views until, with a tilt of her wings, she caught the wind and rocketed off.
I was too excited to get any sketches done and the light prevented any reasonable photos of the hen harrier so here are some of the lapwings, keeping their heads down in the grass, out of the wind instead. Of course the lapwings had starlings for company!

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Old Monday 14th January 2008, 09:07   #29
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Another fine account Mike with super drawings, too. The bottom-most starling is expertly drawn. A tiny drawing that has everything - a real gem!
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Old Monday 14th January 2008, 10:55   #30
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agree with Tim, fantastic. Funny, my star bird of Sunday was a female hen harrier, but I managed to get some sketches of it as it reappeared later.
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Old Tuesday 22nd January 2008, 10:20   #31
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Finally! I got some time to myself over the weekend, the girls went off shopping (no wonder I'm always broke...) boys at work and uni,, bliss!

Finished tweaking and this is the result.

Just realised the colour looks a bit dull in the scan.
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Old Tuesday 22nd January 2008, 10:30   #32
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And now for something completely different...

After a day of detailing the owl I fancied a bit of experiment for the evening. So, armed with a big canvas, loads of paint, sketches and plenty of booze I locked myself in the conservatory and proceeded to make like a real artist and splash some paint about with the big brushes.

I finished it off on sunday and I'm reasonably happy with it. I think there are areas for improvement on future projects and I'm not even sure I want to go down this route completely anyway but I'd be glad to hear what anybody else thinks.



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Old Tuesday 22nd January 2008, 12:03   #33
ed keeble
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And now for something completely different...

After a day of detailing the owl I fancied a bit of experiment for the evening. So, armed with a big canvas, loads of paint, sketches and plenty of booze I locked myself in the conservatory and proceeded to make like a real artist and splash some paint about with the big brushes.

I finished it off on sunday and I'm reasonably happy with it. I think there are areas for improvement on future projects and I'm not even sure I want to go down this route completely anyway but I'd be glad to hear what anybody else thinks.



Mike
Its good- all over the land people reaching for booze and the bristly brushes!

Maybe this May we should have a paint-more-neatly-athon where very one stays sober and paints with extreme attention to detail.
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Old Tuesday 22nd January 2008, 12:04   #34
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Last things first - a resounding "YES" for the lappies, comp and cont are excellent and your approach seems very natural. I wouldn't be concerned about 'your style' - just paint what you want, how you want to - it'll then BE your style. I approach different subjects and differently sized supports in different ways, but, funnily enough, although brushmarks may be larger, or less concentrated, on examination it's still precisely the same technique. I love the outcome of your painting, whatever.
The owl has succeded in every way - as we thought it would. Super lighting and a charismatic little bird.
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Old Tuesday 22nd January 2008, 14:30   #35
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you kept us waiting for the owl, and it was worth it, what a beautiful piece! Subtle and bold all in the same picture, one of my favourites, and then the lapwings YAY! You've popped over to the dark side of booze-fuelled splashing! They're superb, an expression of tone, form and light. Couldn't agree more with what Tim said about painting what you want, how you want. Even if this route isn't one you want to go down a the time, it certainly opens your eyes to possibilities on the route you choose. Even I possess a 00 brush! (Not that it gets used much!) Seriously, these two pic have cheered me up no end, after a horribe afternoon teling the kids that they're naughty to make so much noise when I'm ill.
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Old Tuesday 22nd January 2008, 20:17   #36
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Like them both a lot mike
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Old Friday 25th January 2008, 16:17   #37
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I'd almost abandoned this several times, it's still not what I wanted so I think I'll have to start afresh sometime but, for now, here's one I prepared earlier...

Mike
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Old Friday 25th January 2008, 16:24   #38
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Mike - what is it you're not happy with in this painting? Looks pretty darned good from where I'm sitting.

Cheers :)
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Old Saturday 26th January 2008, 07:12   #39
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Without taking away from the little owl piece, which is a sublime painting I have waited on, without any dissapointment I might add....

The Lapwings are a joy to behold....

If you were a gymnast it would be 10.0 right across the boards...
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Old Saturday 26th January 2008, 20:37   #40
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Love the Snipes but looking forward to the one you have in mind
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Old Sunday 27th January 2008, 22:51   #41
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Excellent Mike! Well, I'm not a big fan of illustrative work, so while the LO is fab .... yeah ... take it away with the Lapwing! The snipe though, hmm .. one of my favorite species ... so .... oh dunno ... LOVE 'EM ALL!

Dearie me, when was the last time I picked up a brush ....depressingly busy with work and uni (and birding )
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Old Sunday 27th January 2008, 22:54   #42
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these two pic have cheered me up no end, after a horribe afternoon teling the kids that they're naughty to make so much noise when I'm ill.
sounds like our man in France should be spending less time creeping up walls and more time looking for Wallcreepers for his mates
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Old Tuesday 29th January 2008, 19:49   #43
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Just seen your Snipe Mike! Blimey! They certainly put mine to shame! Can you wait till mine disappear first before you show these? Thanks mate! Cheers from Steve.
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Old Tuesday 29th January 2008, 19:56   #44
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Super sniper Mike. Got that winter chill very nicely and the dry sedges and reeds work excellently.
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Old Tuesday 29th January 2008, 23:14   #45
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Whilst I love the snipe already for many reasons, an artist is never happy being told their work is great if they themselves are not happy with it. Is it possible that what you don't like is the left hand snipe? Perhaps because the darks of the snipe are against a dark background, and the lights are against the light water? It isn't a problem to me, and I've had to search to deliberately find things that may displease the painter. But perhaps keeping the bird against either water or grass may help? In any case, a wonderful piece which sadly reminds me I haven't seen a snipe for a few years now, they really are one of my top ten favourite birds, and this picture has all of that snipey goodness that makes them so attractive to me.
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Old Wednesday 30th January 2008, 08:48   #46
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Thanks for the comments folks.

Actually Nick I like the left hand bird, it's the right hand one that I'm not so keen on, don't know why exactly. Lost edges dont worry me, especially with a bird like snipe which are so well camouflaged. I really struggled with the grass/sedge and it still doesn't have the look I was after, probably because I've overworked it so much.

They are great birds aren't they, I had the pleasure of spending twenty or thirty minutes with one at Elmley last year. He sat by the road about two metres from me and seemed totally relaxed, he was around for a good few weeks but only really close the one time and it was probably one of the best encounters I've ever had with any wild bird because it seemed so intimate. These birds came from the sketches that I made at the time (I think I posted some of them on my 2007 sketchpad thread) and this was one that I painted up as soon as I got home that day.

Mike
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Old Wednesday 30th January 2008, 09:07   #47
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Well, I love them all!
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Old Wednesday 30th January 2008, 09:29   #48
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I can't see even the slightest problem with the right hand bird, I guess it must be the artist sees it differently to the viewer. Very much enjoying all this snipey stuff at the moment, this painted up sketch is sublime, seriously good snipe!
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Old Wednesday 30th January 2008, 09:56   #49
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Love the loner there Mike
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Old Wednesday 30th January 2008, 10:46   #50
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Thanks for the comments folks.

Actually Nick I like the left hand bird, it's the right hand one that I'm not so keen on, don't know why exactly.

Mike
If it is the right hand bird of the pair that's niggling away at you- maybe its that its showing a lot of exposed wing.
I find when I'm on waders thta it is tempting to put in a few rows of visible wing coverts when actually there's often very little wing visible between flank feathers and scaps.

So maybe your niggle would disappear or reduce if chest and flank feathers overlapped the wing more on the right hand side of the bird - as shown in your single snipe just above, which is brill...

Just musing, as ever.
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