Woodlands Sunset/ Ducks On A Log

Here are 2 small paintings I created this fall. The Ducks on a log painting was done from some photos I took in the Summer of 2017, while the Woodlands Sunset Painting was done from a Photo I took this year in June 2018.  These paintings were both very small at 12″x9″

For the first painting, ducks on a log, I started with these 2 photos.

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Ducks on a Log, Photo 1
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Ducks on a Log, Photo 2

Before I started my painting, I did a few practice drawings in Watercolour, and Pitt Pastels.

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Ducks on a Log, Practice Drawing, Watercolour, 2017

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Ducks on a Log, Drawing

Here is the rough drawing for the actual painting, I combined the 2 photos in the best way that I thought worked compositionally. I kind of combined the ducks leaning over with the one standing up to create a more fluid movement through the composition. I then transferred the drawing to canvas using graphite on the back of the paper, which I then pressed the lines into the canvas to create a carbon copy. It is very important when doing this technique to make sure the paper doesn’t shift, as it can distort the image.

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Ducks on a log, Version 1

Here I started the painting, and laid down the base colours. You can see the paint is still thin and it needed more layers. This photo was taken 2.5 Hours into the painting process.

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Ducks on a Log, Final, 2018

Here is the final Painting, which took 5.5 Hours to complete. Overall I am quite happy with it with the exception that I think it might be a little too dark, also I find I may have outlined the ducks too much. However I really do like how the shadows turned out on the ducks and the 3 dimensional effect. I also like how the colours are muted, and how most of the painting has a bit of the brown of the ducks mixed into it.

For the second painting, I only used the one photo of a sunset I got back in June 2018. It was a beautiful, pleasant June day that was not too hot with a nice breeze, I knew when the sun was setting to get out and get some pictures as the sky would light up. I was amazed by the oranges and magenta’s I got in my photos of the sunset, after a little bit of processing in Photoshop. Although I got many more pictures, I only used the one for this painting.

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Woodlands Sunset Photo

Here is a rough drawing of the scene in Pitt Pastel, and Watercolour.

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Woodlands Sunset, Quick Sketch, 2018
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Woodlands Sunset, Watercolour, 2018

Here, I started on the drawing for the actual Painting. I got the general shape of the trees, and the clouds, while adding more detail to the trees since I knew I could not leave it just black with no detail.

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Woodlands Sunset, Drawing

I once again pressed this drawing into the canvas with graphite and a pencil.

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Woodlands Sunset, Version 1

Here is the first working photo of the painting taken at 2 hours into it. I added the magenta, blue and dark greens, but still feel it is not done. I tried to add waves to the water, and detail to the trees.

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Woodlands Sunset, 2018

For the finished version of the painting, I added more glazes, and colour as well as made more dark greens that were very close to black for the distant trees, with a few hints of tree trunks. I really like how the water turned out with the zinc mixing white and reflections below the trees. To add more dimension to the clouds, I added some outlines around the clouds of darker phalo blue which gives it a bit of abstraction.

These paintings were both shown in the Fall 2018 Jurried Art Show at the Benson Centre in Cornwall, Canada.

4 thoughts on “Woodlands Sunset/ Ducks On A Log

  1. I like your watercolour sketches the best – you have developed an interesting style. In the first duck painting there is a mixture of detail and ambiguity which is intriguing. Are you adding gouache to the wet watercolour? The same is true of the lakeland scene, though the sky got a little messy.
    You have produced other watercolours in the same style in earlier blogs – worth developing further.

    Like

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