Since I have been working on birds lately, I thought that might be a good project to do in watercolor. I live within an hour and a half drive of Radioville, Indiana, where Sandhill Cranes make a stop every November during their migration to warmer climate. My husband and I try to go as often as we can in hopes that we may get some good quality photographs. Since I have had a few years worth of photos just sitting in my computer I decided that a crane would be a good subject to paint. Fairly easy to sketch, uncomplicated color, and I could work on the background at a later date. This is how Dwayne started:
After I finished laying down the base colors I started working on the head in more detail. Since my studio is in my basement (and way too embarrassing to show to another human being, so don't ask) I would work in 3 to 4 minute intervals between loads of laundry.
(I'm surprised that the photo turned out as well as it did considering there is a pink hue in the background that should not be there, so imagine the background as it should be, which is white.)
A few days later I finished the body and after sitting with him for a while with no background other than the few splotches of color I carefully placed I decided to leave the remainder white. Now I'm just trying to get a good photograph so that I can have Giclee prints made. I can't seem to part with the original - for several reasons. One being that he is a good reminder of how much I have improved over the course of this past year despite the fact that I've spent a large part of that time in physical discomfort. Also, a friend of mine who happened to have a copy of a book titled 'Animal-Speak: The spiritual and magical powers of creatures great and small' quoted me the following from the book:
"Longevity and creation through focus. Often helps teach you how to express your own feminine energies. If the crane has shown up in your life as a totem, it could very well reflect that you are about to recover what had almost become extinct within you."
I think that's pretty cool. Anyway, here's my finished guy. As you can see, I'm still working on getting that perfect photograph, but you get the idea: