If at first you don't succeed.......

If at first you don't succeed.......

So not everything in my world goes according to plan. I often spend way too long surfing the internet before getting down to some serious painting and had been struck by some amazing paintings of cockerels and chickens I had seen. It was inspiring so I decided to try one for my self.

I began by sketching out the rooster  and carefully painting the head and eye. All was going well and I was lost in my own little world. But I have never painted a cockerel before and was unsure how to proceed.When things go wrong it is usually because I don't quite know where I am going.....

The colours I was using were new to me, they weren't mixing well, and the image was getting lost , I sprayed the whole thing with water and started again....

but it got worse and worse. 

Some times in blind panic I decide to throw everything I have at a painting but this one was already lost. I once again sprayed the tail feathers with water, took one last look and promptly threw the whole thing in the bin....

This morning, determined not to be defeated and using my first attempt as a guide, I began again, and his time I did have an idea where I was going.

I needed to be more measured, limit my palette and stop when enough was enough.

I hadn't liked some of the harsher blues and greens I had used and I finally had an idea where I was going

And so a much better day today and I hope you agree a better painting .


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I live your paintings and am trying to loosen up! I tend to overwork my paintings. I just happen to be worker in a rooster now and I am having trouble finding colors that work. Would you mind sharing with me the colors that you used in this painting?

Thank you for your wonderful blog!

Linda Barry

Hi again ,
I just finished rambling in a response to your post on the not so glamorous side of being an artist … and couldn’t resist this post. I love seeing what goes in to making a painting. I was very fortunate to take a workshop in California with Artist Jean Haines. If she instilled any secret to watercolor as soon as it starts resembling the subject good idea to stop and walk away for a bit. Your process of painting the rooster seems to go hand in hand on how we were encourage to learn in the workshop. You have a gift for keeping the painting alive. Love it


Looking great and well done on having the determination to finish up what is a wonderful portrait of a magnificent bird!

Eautiful bibrant painting and so good to hear about the process behind that.

Hi Rachel,
It’s a beautiful painting, so lively, looks like a happy cockerel. Well done.

Rosane Miller

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