Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Continuation of the Raven Series

Raven Preening - (c) Pat Dolan - 2017 - SOLD

It's been great fun and also a bit challenging to reveal the personalities of the different Raven's I'm painting in this series. Without a personality, a bird seems so much less impressive! But I'm also noticing that there are many bird species that seem to appear to be identical to one another. Robins and Blue Birds both seem to be so similar to one another, not very expressive of their individuality as compared to one another in their appearance. Yes, they can occasionally take on a pose that sets them apart from all the others, and that is what I like to capture. The uniqueness of each bird...

Ravens seem to have very expressive faces and postures, at least the ones in my reference photos by Wendy Davis! Here are several of my recent pieces with a step-by-step approach so you can watch them evolve on the easel.

First, the drawing in white/silver pencil on the black canvas.

Initial layin of light and medium values.

Refining the values, bit by bit.

Getting close to completion...

Once the highlights are added to the eyes, the bird seems to leap forward and squawk directly in your face!
Raven Squawk - (c) Pat Dolan - 2017 - 9"w x 12"h - $135.00 + 6% PA sales tax + shipping

Here's another step-by-step:
Only one eye is really showing in the photo and I began this way, but didn't like how it looked without a gleam in the eye that was turned away from us.

Building up the lights gradually...

Building up the lightest lights - rather boldly!

Accentuating wings with dark tones and the breast feathers with light accents.

Adding the "hidden" eye and softening the head feathers.
Shy Raven - (c) Pat Dolan - 2017 - 9"wx12"h - $135.00 + 6% PA tax + shipping

Here's one corner of my studio where I can hang these paintings, let them sit for awhile, and determine if they need any changes or if they are complete as they are. You can see Wendy Davis' 2017 Raven calendar hanging on the wall, too! Her photography is so inspiring!


marilyn hesemann said...

Hi, Pat! I love your Raven Series. So glad you added the hidden eye to the shy raven. The gleam of the hidden eye is perfect!

Pat Gangl Dolan said...

Thanks, Marilyn! I'm enjoying the research, the process, and the sales!