Painting 71, Snowy Egret with Plumes Flying
(Quick watercolor sketch, 9x12, Arches Rough 100% Cotton 140 lb paper)
This is one of those milestone paintings because I sketched it and painted it in public--with a lot of people around. Normally I paint by myself, but I knew I was going to have an hour's wait while my son was at a tennis clinic, so after reading Laure Ferlita's post today on all of her travel watercolor palettes, I decided it was time to haul my paints and paper with me and paint. I am a sloppy sketcher, and when I prepare for a watercolor, I normally tone down my heavy-handed sketching, but I didn't have time for that, so I just let my heavy hand go free. The pencil marks show through the paint, but that's okay. It was dark there, and I couldn't see up close very well because I didn't have my little magnifying glasses (uugh...getting older is murder on the eyes. I can't see anything up close anymore). As a result, this little egret's eyes suffered a bit and look outlined. I was going to fix it when I got home but decided to leave it because each painting in the challenge is a learning experience. I'm going to take my paints with me now when I know I'm going to have a long wait so I'll be able to keep practicing painting on the fly...in front of people!
When I paint with acrylics I don't lay a sketch down at all. I just grab the paintbrush and start painting, but watercolors aren't that forgiving so a sketch is necessary! I might try painting this guy in acrylic and see what happens. I took the photo I used as a reference for this painting when I was in Florida this spring (it's posted here). The Snowy Egret was in his breeding plumage and the wind had whipped those beautiful plumes on his head in the air. He had just caught the little silvery fish, and I was lucky enough to snap the photo just in time.