Sunday, February 10, 2013

Western Tanager

Watercolour: 'Western Tanager with Orange'
11 X 15" $235.
Thanks Patty for sharing your bird photos! Even though my friend Patty lives in Oregon and I live in the Kootenays of British Columbia, many of the same birds frequent both our areas. Usually, I see the western tanager in  coniferous forests but one time in some cottonwood trees, near some wetlands, I watched as a tanager bothered a bald eagle until it finally moved on. I can only think it was near it's nest. Quite something to see such a small bird swooping in on the large eagle.
 
I chose a harmonious colour scheme with red, orange and yellow. The background was originally totally grey with a purplish hue. I had thought it would be a good complement to the yellow however, it was too much looking loud and garish. I toned the background down with two light coats of transparent yellow. I knew I was risking the background becoming muddy placing one complement over the other but what made it easier to try was I tested it using a sheet of paintable acetate.
 
You can find this wet media film by Dura-lar at Dick Blick's Art Store http://www.dickblick.com/. I tried a yellow glaze as well as trying a warmer grey glaze. The yellow was definitely the right choice therefore I was more confident to do the actual glazing on my painting.
 

1 comment:

Win Dinn said...

This is lovely, Eileen, and you really did manage to tone that background down without creating mud - it's very well done!