3/24/08

THE REAL SNOW BIRDS

The antics of a group (or flock?) of penguins can keep me captivated for a long time. They are hilarious. Many aquarium facilities feature penguin style living up close just like where these fellows now live in their own psuedo South Pole country (near the Ohio River.)

Using a technique taught by northern Indiana artist, Steve Blackburn, I literally poured trails of miskit onto the watercolor board, spritzing it with water to create avenues for it to crawl into and produce a unique pattern that I would never be able to paint. After the miskit dried, I poured color over the board, using several separate colors. Using a sprayer, I made some areas lighter than others, but the whole board was covered with paint. When it was dry, I removed the miskit to reveal the curious patterns and textures of pure white paper.

At that point, I drew in the penguin shapes and details and began to paint behind the lightest shapes to make them show up. It's really cool to see a form emerge as you paint the negative shapes behind it. Almost magic, but careful planning is involved.

The wings, bodies, heads, feet, and beaks of the foreground penquins were added as positive shapes. The lightest areas of the painting are from the original pours, and I like how the miskit shapes peak through the darks in the painting, almost resembling a frosted morning. This photo shows most of the paintng, but somehow I cut off the left hand side of the painting, so about one and a half penquins are missing. (And after goggling what a group of penguins are called, I found a multiple choice answer --- a huddle, a rookery, a parcel, a crèche' or a colony... take your pick!)

"PENGUIN PARADE" Transparent Watercolor on Hot Pressed Crescent Watercolor Board 30 x 12" Collected (Giglee' prints available)

9 comments:

Dawn said...

very cool the way you painted this Sandy, they look like they are having a party. LOL! lovely!

RHCarpenter said...

I choose "A huddle of penguins" because it just sounds cool! haha This is a great painting - you can always hear them!

Sandy Maudlin said...

Funny how you both used the word, "COOL" for such cold loving birds. Thanks for the comments ans for stopping by. I can see that huddle forming already. Isn't nature just fabulous?!?

Michelle Himes said...

I like "huddle" too. I love this one - those textures in the underpainting are terrific.

Sandy said...

What an incredible painting and technique. Love it. I love the comp on this too!

sandy

Dawn said...

here ya go:

colony of penguins
crèche of penguins
huddle of penguins
parcel of penguins
rookery of penguins

take your pick!

and I know I left a comment on the raccoon painting.... very sweet! a real cutie!

Joan Sandford-Cook said...

Probably a bit late for you to pick up on this late comment on such an early posting but having visited a 'colony' of penguins whilst in South Africa last Autumn have been waiting to decide how to create a painting of them from my sketches and photos. Simply love the Steve Blackburn technique, which is very similar to what I do with acrylics and inks together. Never thought of doing it with watercolours. Hope you dont mind, but I will now as your work has simply inspired me.

Sandy said...

Sandy ...your paintings on all supports are brilliant!
I love your traditional watercolour works and your yupo too.

Ross Lynem said...

Brilliant piece of work. Just love the effect..gorgeous!