Friday, March 23, 2018

More Birdwatching

This morning walking Spunky on our usual path, we happened upon a migrating flock of Cedar Waxwings. They were perched together high up in the trees bordering our development and, as luck would have it, the sun came out as we approached and illuminated the birds brilliantly! Be sure to click on the photos to see an enlarged version, all the better to see the bright yellow and tiny bit of red markings.

Below, a Robin is in the lower left side. That gives you a comparison in size for the Waxwings vs. Robins. They are actually quite a bit smaller, although in this photo, it was 30 degrees out and the Waxwings all had their feathers fluffed out, making them appear much larger than they are. The Robin, on the other hand, is NOT fluffed out, but is quite used to the cold!

When snow storm Toby blew through earlier this week, I took a few photos of some regular visitors to our porch feeders - Bluebirds. They don't look too pleased to be out in the storm!

That's it for today. Off to begin some new drawings!

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Three Bluebird Watercolors : Step-by-Step

Having so much fun painting again and listening to Pandora Radio - Paul Hardcastle station. Smooth Jazz stations are next to impossible to find in Central Pennsylvania, so my iPod and Pandora fill me in with my favorite music while painting.

The last post featured two bluebird paintings on the drawing table. Here are the next three of the five I've set up as my refresher course in watercolor painting. They were a lot of fun compared to the first two. I'm getting back in the swing of things and I'm "remembering" some of what was lost when I wasn't practicing!

Step-by-step Bluebird #3

Bluebird Squatting - Pat Dolan - watercolor - 5.6"x8"

Step-by-step Bluebird #4

Bluebird Looking Right - Pat Dolan - watercolor - 7"x10"

Step-by-step Bluebird #5

Bluebird Looking Left - Pat Dolan - watercolor - 7"x10"

I hope you enjoy seeing how a painting progresses through various stages of development. These have been very good for practice as I've been out of the studio since Christmas and just now am able to be painting once again.

Time evaporates when I'm painting, drawing, creating in one way or another. I definitely loosened up with each painting and felt more comfortable with the paint on the brush in my hand. Just getting back to mixing colors, making sure to have the right amount of paint/water ratio, and remembering how to integrate a background to make the bird feel it belongs in the painting... So much of this is done automatically when one has been painting frequently, but things get lost when one isn't regularly practicing!

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Painting Bluebirds

Looking Up - Pat Dolan - watercolor - 7"x10" - 2018

Above: a couple of bluebird drawings awaiting the paint and brush...

Below: Chosen watercolors for the Bluebird paintings

Looking Up - early - before adding background and other details. Completed painting is at the top of post.

It's been nearly 3 months since I've done any watercolor paintings... thus I'm practicing doing a few small pieces just to get back into the swing of mixing paints, handling the various brushes, using lots of water, and yet adding enough detail to create a representative piece. These few paintings are nothing remarkable and are obviously practice pieces. But I'm happy to be back in the studio doing what I truly enjoy! I'm rusty today, but will get up to speed with more practice!

Above: three more drawing ready to go

Bluebird #1 - without background

Bluebird #1 - Pat Dolan - watercolor - 5.5"x8" - 2018

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Bird Watching

Male Bluebird with a male & female House Finch pair with snow flurries flying by.

When the ground is frozen and there is snow on the ground, I fill my Bluebird feeder with dried meal worms. This attracts primarily Bluebirds as well as various finches and sparrows. The feeder has open holes on the two short sides, and plexiglass on the wide sides. Half of the roof lifts to pour in meal worms or other bird seed - keeping the worms or seeds completely dry, no matter what the weather.

While today was a bonus Bluebird day, others have come to our porch to check us out!

The Goldfinch are already starting to molt into their spring plumage.

This daring female Bluebird boldly landed by my sliding door as she gazed longingly at the worm feeder above her!

One day, I actually had a real surprise - a first time ever to our home on Paradise Hill, a Cedar Waxwing! You'll see it in photo below in the lower left. He was too shy to come onto the porch, but he was this close!
A House Finch, Bluebird, and Cedar Waxwing! Click on the image to see a larger version.

A pair of Bluebirds, the female on the left, the more brightly colored male on the right. Again, click on the image to get a better view.

Lots of inspiration to begin watercolor painting once again following shoulder replacement surgery. Hope to get going this week!

Thursday, March 08, 2018

Studio Changes

This is by my computer desk and printer. They sure brighten up this corner!

After my two recent exhibits, about 30 paintings were returned to the house. Finding safe storage for framed pieces is becoming harder to do, since my walls can only hold so many paintings! But I rearranged the wall art and put three boxes of paintings (with bubble wrap between each) downstairs in the sewing studio to store them until I need them for another show.

So here's what is presently hanging in the studio.

Above the drawing/painting table. I have to be careful not to splash my watercolors too far or risk getting spatters on the work!

Over the small bookcase with my paint brush storage.

This is the corner between the sliding door to the porch and the wall of windows facing south.

Over the cabinet next to my desk.

The photos below give you a better idea of the size of my studio (about 11' x 13') and what it actually looks like, aside from the paintings on the walls!
Our King Charles Cavalier (& terrier!) rescue dog, Spunky, often is in the studio. Here's she's waiting for dinner!

As you can see from this last photo, I have yet to return to painting. My shoulder is healing nicely and I plan to begin drawing and painting again within the next week. Wish me luck!!!