It seems strange to think that this time last week I was in sunny Cornwall, trying my best to paint seascapes. This week has been a roller coaster ride , getting back into my life as an artist here in Devon.
I am getting back into normal life, Dan my eldest celebrated his 18th birthday, Eliza my youngest has her prom tonight, I am busy posting things here and there as well as trying to complete commissions and getting the washing done!
I must say there are few nicer places to return to than my little corner of Mid Devon
I knew the shortlist for the Wildlife Artist of the Year would be announced in June sometime , I just didn't know when, so I have been nervously checking my inbox for news. I submitted a few pieces...including this a circus of puffins...
But it was my crow that made it this year, I have no idea, which one will ( if any) get in but I am so thrilled when one does.
So I am fascinated by these intelligent, and in my opinion beautiful birds. I have always wanted to paint them, but they do pose a challenge as if you paint them in all one colour they will look flat and dull. Here is my process for painting a crow, a different one than the one in the competition but still a crow. I never use black either so quite a challenge when painting a black subject
So here's how I painted mine.
Firstly I sketched out a crow.
Then I painted his eye, I love this bit, really concentrating on the detail. If you want to see how I paint eyes then do check out some of my other blogs.
Now a bit of fun, lots of wet in wet, cerulean blue and paynes grey, and let the paint work it's magic., See where the light hits the feathers.
Now I began on the beak, attention to detail, see where there is light and use your best brushes, that come to the finest points for this part.
Now I am chasing the watercolour, lots of water, lots of blues and purples, then nice rich tones of paynes grey. Some places need a much stronger concentration of colour to indicate the feathers. When parts are drying add marks to suggest the pattern of the feathers
Then I sprinkled a little salt for even more texture.
Let that dry and go in with some more darks.
Then back to detail as I painted the feet
And finally as I didn't want to spoil my painting, I added a branch in pencil . Hope fully a colourful crow , that you know is black really.