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Old Friday 2nd April 2010, 21:51   #76
colleenc
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inventive perspective! not the usual, and a great capture
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Old Friday 2nd April 2010, 22:05   #77
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Now what's not to love about a chippitymunk?

Great stuff.

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Old Monday 12th April 2010, 13:24   #78
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The brown-headed cowbirds returned to Michigan and are taking over the feeders. Its hard to be enamored of these nest parasites, but they are attractive in their own way. I try to look on the bright side. if the cowbirds are here, the warblers are on the way soon.
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Old Monday 12th April 2010, 17:12   #79
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every texture perfectly described
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Old Wednesday 14th April 2010, 13:19   #80
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Another non-bird... but at least it has wings. This is a male ruby meadowhawk, a common Michigan dragonfly.

Ruby Meadowhawk
5 x 7 inches
Transparent Watercolor on Lana 140lb HP

Detail image is approx 1.75 x 2.75 inches

A step-by-step through the creation of the painting can be seen here... WIP
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Old Wednesday 14th April 2010, 16:25   #81
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superbly done - such vivid colours and such excellent control - shiny shiny!

Apologies for not mentioning the cowbird too, a fine piece of drawing.
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Old Wednesday 14th April 2010, 22:03   #82
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wow the wip is really fun! you must have been a goldsmith in a previous life to have this kind of attention to detail in so small a space.
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Old Thursday 15th April 2010, 20:31   #83
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Thanks Nick and Colleen! Working on these small pieces has been nice. I can actually get something finished in a reasonable amount of time.
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Old Friday 16th April 2010, 12:10   #84
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Thanks Nick and Colleen! Working on these small pieces has been nice. I can actually get something finished in a reasonable amount of time.
A lot of detail in these Matty, would imagine even working on such a tiny area would tale a long time when this level of detail is involved, you must have razor sharp eyesight! Cracking recent work...
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Old Friday 16th April 2010, 12:50   #85
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A lot of detail in these Matty, would imagine even working on such a tiny area would tale a long time when this level of detail is involved, you must have razor sharp eyesight! Cracking recent work...
Totally agree Alan - another stunning piece of work, Matty.
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Old Friday 16th April 2010, 12:52   #86
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Thanks Buzzard,
It must be my new glasses!
I usually keep track of how long a painting takes. Its a bit of a pain, but helps establish a price later on. This time I didn't. I'm guessing it was around 7 hours. Stopping to scan it in slows things down more than you'd think. I used to primarily work in the 10x14 format which usually took about 14 hours.

The longest I ever spent on a painting was 78 hours... on this an 18x24 transparent watercolor. It was pretty much solid detail. That was a fun, but exhausting project.
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Old Friday 16th April 2010, 16:42   #87
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whew looks like a real marathon....eyeball grabbing results tho!
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Old Monday 26th April 2010, 13:34   #88
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I did this a while back, but came across the scans of the painting in progress so i thought it would be worth sharing. It is a 10x14inch transparent watercolor of a pileated woodpecker.

WIP can be seen here.
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Old Tuesday 27th April 2010, 02:29   #89
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completely amazing detail and color is rich too...how do you keep the whites so white?
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Old Tuesday 27th April 2010, 08:29   #90
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Fine work Matty - amazing intensity of colour for watercolors.
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Old Tuesday 27th April 2010, 12:30   #91
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indeed, such clean vibrant colours are so hard to achieve in watercolour.
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Old Tuesday 27th April 2010, 13:21   #92
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Thanks everyone. I think I've just been painting around all those whites in transparent watercolor for so long that it has become second nature. I do have to slow down and be careful not to run over them. Getting detail in the whites and darks with watercolor right next to each other is always hard. For me it works best to drop in the lights first and then bring in the darks... which I didn't do in this painting... because the white blocks of color were pretty large.

I wasn't blessed with the ability to to bold, loose watercolors. I've always gravitated toward detail, but that is a vestige of my day job. A methodical/retentive approach works for me. I need a very definite plan... spontaneity doesn't work for me. I'm always envious of a really loose energetic watercolor... blows me away every time.

I'll attach a close up of the head about life size. There actually is a lot of color in the whites of the bird. having some blue in the shadows of the whites can really make them pop. There actually is a lot of color in there. THe plan was to have the cool whites right next to the warmish super-dark feathers seems to make them pop even more. Using some of the same purples in the red crest hopefully integrated the blues and purples of the whites so they still fit in with the rest of the painting which has little blue/purple.
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Old Tuesday 27th April 2010, 13:45   #93
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Very rich and jewel-like Matty. As others have said they are amazing brilliant whites. Pileateds are one of my favorite local birds, but they're not very visible. I'm going to be out looking for them again in the next few days.

Have you ever had them fly low over your head unexpectedly? My impression is always of something prehistoric, I guess because of their size. They're not really all that big compared to something like a Turkey Vulture or Great Blue Heron, which are also apt to fly low over your head, but for some reason they always strike me as pterodactyl-like. Always a thrill to see.
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Old Tuesday 27th April 2010, 17:07   #94
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thanks for the detail Matty, amazing bit of wc painting, and I see what you mean about all the color in the whites...
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Old Tuesday 27th April 2010, 22:05   #95
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Thanks Ken. I've never had one "buzz" me... that must be amazing. Although I saw them a lot growing up in western NY, they are not terribly common in my part of Michigan. In the past few years they are picking up in #s again locally, and it is a huge treat to see one. And you are right, they are very pterodactyl-like!
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Old Thursday 29th April 2010, 13:02   #96
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Another insect... this time its a Female Forktail Damselfly in transparent watercolor. Still working small at 5 x 7 inches on Lana 140lb HP paper. WIP can be found here.
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Old Thursday 29th April 2010, 13:31   #97
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Just terrific! I'm facing up to a few insects soon - I wish I could do them like this!
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Old Thursday 29th April 2010, 18:12   #98
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Just terrific! I'm facing up to a few insects soon - I wish I could do them like this!
So do I, these little blighters are fabulous!
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Old Thursday 29th April 2010, 23:30   #99
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beautiful bug Matty
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Old Saturday 1st May 2010, 18:07   #100
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terrific job - one of your best - beautiful composition and superb use of colour. Sometimes, illustration (by its necessity to be accurate) compromises the art/aesthetics/etc stuff we all gush about, but this really ticks every box available. Beautiful piece!
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