This is a commission that I just finished for someone who had seen the photo (below), and wanted me to paint it.
I knew that the photo below (taken by Luke Champion, a teenager who has split-second reflexes) needed to be a watercolor, as there were these wonderful layers of translucent feathers – perfect for this medium. I also knew that I had to invent the color, as it was to portray the rising sun, and the feathers would naturally pick up some of the early morning reds and oranges. I have to tell you that this was one of the more difficult paintings I’ve yet to do. I felt as if I’d entered a labyrinth, a maze of overlapping feathers and shadows.
It was pretty early on that I began to get lost in the maze… which smaller feather was related to the larger one? Which feather let the light through? Which one didn’t?
I was also trying a new paper, Twin Rocker, a handmade paper that has quite a different look from my normal Arches cold press paper. I loved the colors that it picked up, but mistakes are not easily corrected. On my third try (two Twin Rockers, and one Arches), I started to pull it together.
I had to push my colors as I tend to lean towards the earth tones. I knew the bright oranges hadn’t really reached the blue sky as yet so I just hinted that the light and colors were rising. I hope you like this piece.Â
Scary stuff to wait to see if the owner is pleased. Phew, he likes it!!