Thursday, November 5, 2015

A Bird in the Hand Is Worth Two in the Bush????? ... Works-in-Progress

I liked the sketches, and had good plans ...

... somewhere along the line, I lost it.
Started off with some brown madder.

Darkened the madder with some burnt orange and indanthrone.

Branch was painted with quin. sienna and alizarin crimson.

Then I made the mistake of sponging on cobalt blue and burnt orange. It might be salvageable ...

Bird #2. Again started with brown madder. It's a lovely soft pinkish-brown.

Browns and greys made with brown madder, indanthrone and burnt orange.  For the blacks I used quin. violet rather than the less intense madder.

A bit of burnt orange to brighten him up.

And another so-so background. ARRRGGHHHHH!!!!! 

I like the chickadee, but I'm hoping I think of something spectacular to improve the background.

There's still Bird #3 ...

In class last Saturday, students wanted to work on a simple landscape. So I started this one [again - it works well as a teaching demo].

I couldn't resist taking a photo of this adorable face.  I was on dog-walking duty for one of my neighbors last week. I think she has two or three bull terriers, all rescues.

Bruno is "ride-able" again, in a very limited way. I can only walk him for 20 minutes at most, with no tight circles, nothing fancy, just big and easy movement. But it is SOOO GOOD to be back in the saddle, and he likes the work and attention, too!

Thank you for dropping by!


  1. That little birdie looked like it was having a very good time hanging onto the branch!
    Such a pretty little birdie

  2. Trop mignon.
    Bravo chère Kathryn !

  3. I'm sure you will come up with something amazing to save the birds , I admire your persistence in starting over and over again :-) In Denmark we say 'It's better to have one bird in your hand than ten on the roof ' :-) xx

  4. A lovely start....bird number 3 is really nice and I like the way you started the last background. LOVE the expression on the dog....wonderful photo for a future painting!!

  5. I like the bird too. Gray down the blue; it looks to bright given the shading in the bird. Such is painting!

  6. hope you have a better time with bird #3 but I think you might be able to save the backgrounds on the other two with a bit of colour. nothing to lose by trying if you don't like the way they look now

    glad Bruno is ride-able again, good for his head to even walk around :)

  7. De vrais acrobates ces petits oiseaux !

  8. I'm glad you can ride again. Hurrah! And your birds are gorgeous. I'm sorry I have been absent for a while. I've been building a new website which has been an EPIC task, but it's finally done. Phew! Now I have three baby commissions to do before the 5th December, so I'm still struggling with time management! Gaaagh!

  9. I've fallen out of the loop again and missed a lot of your work .... these birds are fantastic, you could almost get away without a background as they are totally absorbing. Glad Bruno is getting back to ridable, I know how much you both enjoy it. Take care!

  10. Just wanted to stop by and say hi, I haven't visited your blog in a while. What fun the birds are! (I do like the softness of the 2nd background)

  11. Dear Kathryn - I know you will come up with the perfect background. The bird is wonderful...I so love those sweet Chickadees. Glad to hear you are able to ride Bruno again. It sounds like he is finally on the mend. Hope you have a super day.