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Old Tuesday 21st July 2009, 00:52   #26
solitaryVSong
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Hi Nick,

Onwards and upwards is right! I knew I was risking ruining this but I went ahead anyway. But that's the fun of it. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. I do have an older watercolor of the same plovers in a different pose that I did a few months ago. It's much lighter and brighter. But it still wasn't what I wanted so I decided to do this 'improved' version. Oh well...... I'm thinking maybe I'll try a version in pastel and charcoal one of these days. I still want to try to get the brightness of the sand.

I have to say that I spent about a week looking through all the posts and photos on your thread and at one point I thought: what a brilliant idea! He's using collage to get back the white!!

But from what I can see most of your watercolors start bright and end bright so I'm sure that there aren't that many that have to deal with the muddiness.

Ken
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Old Tuesday 21st July 2009, 01:17   #27
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ah, the reason my watercolours look like they start and end bright is because I only let them be watercolours if they end bright - I've just spent all night destroying another watercolour I started - it's now an acrylic.

It's such a headache to be able to see the version you want to do in your head, and then it never manages to be put onto paper - sometime I wish it were possible to take photos of what I'm thinking!
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Old Tuesday 21st July 2009, 08:48   #28
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It's such a headache to be able to see the version you want to do in your head, and then it never manages to be put onto paper - sometime I wish it were possible to take photos of what I'm thinking!
Amen to that Nick!

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Old Tuesday 21st July 2009, 09:45   #29
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Thank goodness for white gouache.
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Old Tuesday 21st July 2009, 12:06   #30
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It's such a headache to be able to see the version you want to do in your head, and then it never manages to be put onto paper - sometime I wish it were possible to take photos of what I'm thinking!
On a computer this is called using the DWIM button: Do What I Mean. I guess we all need DWIM brushes..........
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Old Tuesday 21st July 2009, 19:35   #31
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ah yes our reach exceeds our grasp, and so we keep making art ;-)
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Old Thursday 23rd July 2009, 15:13   #32
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I think I'm finished with this new pastel and charcoal version of the Piping Plovers that I did in watercolor a week ago. It's very overcast today and the light is bad so I've had a hard time actually 'seeing' the results. A brighter light may convince me to go back into this.

I wanted to get both the brilliant light of the sand and the strong color contrast of blue and ochre that was in the sand, depending on whether the sand was in shadow. Eventually I had to take some artistic license and make the top area darker and richer in color than it really was. Otherwise the drawing just seemed a bit washed out and dull.

Though I've done a lot of heavily worked charcoal drawings I haven't done that many that combine pastel and charcoal. So this is still a learning experience. But I'm still pretty happy with the results.
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Old Thursday 23rd July 2009, 16:52   #33
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And so you should be Ken - this is a terrific result; vibrant and zingy - in fact, possibly all that your previous watercolour was, prior to a touch of the overwork-demon getting a hold of it. So, in many ways, the previous piece laid the cornerstone for this one.
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Old Thursday 23rd July 2009, 17:07   #34
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Thanks so much Tim! I'd so much prefer to do work that is vibrant than muddy! Hopefully I can continue in that direction, especially in my great nemesis watercolor.
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Old Thursday 23rd July 2009, 18:06   #35
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lovely expressionistic work, Franz Marc would have loved this...
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Old Thursday 23rd July 2009, 18:21   #36
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lovely expressionistic work, Franz Marc would have loved this...
Das Blaue Reiter? It's funny you should mention him. Way back when I was in high school probably and just learning about 'modern' art I loved Franz Marc! I haven't looked at him in years, but will have to do so now.
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Old Saturday 25th July 2009, 10:26   #37
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That's a real painterly piece of work on the plovers Ken - colours and composition have come together very well indeed.
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Old Sunday 26th July 2009, 13:49   #38
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Thanks Deborah,

Through all the various styles my work has had over many years, including hard edge abstraction, I think that painterliness is the one that always seems most natural to me.

Ken
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Old Sunday 26th July 2009, 14:03   #39
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Bold and vibrant result Ken, particularly keen on the repeated shapes which give the feel of waves of movement.

MIke
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Old Sunday 26th July 2009, 14:25   #40
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Fabulous art , Ken...
I grew up in Chester County and spent much of my youth
canoeing and bicycling the Brandywine area and the River
Museum. Its very nice to see Philadelphia area artist on these
forums !! I will be diving into your sites and Blog as soon as
the birds are fed and the coffee is made !
Thanks for posting your fabulous work.
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Old Sunday 26th July 2009, 20:47   #41
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Bold and vibrant result Ken, particularly keen on the repeated shapes which give the feel of waves of movement.

MIke
Thanks so much Mike. If I can keep my work vibrant, and true to the birds I see, I'm happy!
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Old Sunday 26th July 2009, 20:53   #42
solitaryVSong
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Fabulous art , Ken...
I grew up in Chester County and spent much of my youth
canoeing and bicycling the Brandywine area and the River
Museum. Its very nice to see Philadelphia area artist on these
forums !! I will be diving into your sites and Blog as soon as
the birds are fed and the coffee is made !
Thanks for posting your fabulous work.
Hi Beach Birder,

I'm happy that you like my work! Hopefully I'll also include some new work seen in areas familiar to you. Today I was at Morris Arboretum in Philadelphia and did a few fieldsketches there. I know the Ridley Creek area is supposed to be very good for birding. A number of years ago I flyfished there. But I've done very little birding. This may serve as an excuse to do so though!!

Best wishes,

Ken
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Old Sunday 26th July 2009, 21:01   #43
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I, and my wife Jerene, have spent part of each of the last three Sundays at Morris Arboretum in Philadelphia. It's only a few miles away from us and usually has a variety of birds. More importantly it's got a lot of open space in the wetlands area so it's easy to set up a scope and try some fieldsketches.

I'm including some from today. They include a number of Wood Ducks, including adult females, juveniles and one duckling. Also a Great Blue Heron that landed on the top of a 30 foot tall dead tree. And finally one Ruby-throated Hummingbird. The watercolor pencil sketches are from the backyard last week. They include a Ruby-throated Hummingbird that just wouldn't sit still, and a Sunflower. The Hummingbird didn't really turn out that well but I'm sure all the practice I can get with hummingbirds will pay off eventually.
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Old Sunday 26th July 2009, 21:14   #44
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All very nice, but the two heron sketches are outstanding.
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Old Monday 27th July 2009, 15:34   #45
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All very nice, but the two heron sketches are outstanding.
Thanks Tim,

The heron was the last bird to appear as we walked out of the arboretum. He picked the perfect spot to pose, up on top of a bare-limbed 30 foot tree. If all birds did that I might stand a chance of getting some decent drawings from life!


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Old Monday 27th July 2009, 16:45   #46
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Thanks Tim,

The heron was the last bird to appear as we walked out of the arboretum. He picked the perfect spot to pose, up on top of a bare-limbed 30 foot tree. If all birds did that I might stand a chance of getting some decent drawings from life!


Ken

I know this dark BlackBlurry shot will be of no use to you,
but I'll pass it along anyway. We have a few different types
of Heron that inhabit our lake and I really enjoy watching them.
The Little Blue(?) is really neat to watch as he purposefully struts
the marsh looking for feeder fish. I love the graceful manner they
commit to flight at a moments notice.
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Old Monday 27th July 2009, 22:10   #47
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ah the blues are showing up in my life too right now, I found a roost tree by Bodega Bay, and they are fishing the sardine runs, I saw two have an arial dance, don't know if it was territory or love.....they are nice to draw standing still or at least very slo mo for period of time. you got it well in the sketch.
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Old Tuesday 28th July 2009, 03:16   #48
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I know this dark BlackBlurry shot will be of no use to you,
but I'll pass it along anyway. We have a few different types
of Heron that inhabit our lake and I really enjoy watching them.
The Little Blue(?) is really neat to watch as he purposefully struts
the marsh looking for feeder fish. I love the graceful manner they
commit to flight at a moments notice.
A very nice, and atmospheric, photo. You'd think that they might be ungainly what with their long leg and neck. But no they are as graceful as can be. I always enjoy watching herons and egrets.
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Old Tuesday 28th July 2009, 03:19   #49
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ah the blues are showing up in my life too right now, I found a roost tree by Bodega Bay, and they are fishing the sardine runs, I saw two have an arial dance, don't know if it was territory or love.....they are nice to draw standing still or at least very slo mo for period of time. you got it well in the sketch.
They are a pleasure to watch, and draw, aren't they? We saw about 9 of them fly in and settle in trees at Cape May, NJ all at the same time last fall. Now if I'd been a little more practiced at fieldsketching at the time I might have made a desperate attempt to get it down on paper..........
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Old Wednesday 29th July 2009, 15:50   #50
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Another watecolor, based on a photo I took of an Acadian Flycatcher at Shenandoah National Park in Virginia this spring. I've stopped before I overwork it and get rid of all of the freshness and lumnosity. I may go back to work on it but for now think it's best to just leave it sit for a day or two.
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