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23 February 2011

Watercolour Heliconia

This beautiful exotic flower is in a part of my garden where it is rarely seen. I just couldn't bring myself to pick it so on the weekend I took my easel down to the garden....

03 February 2011

COUNTRY MORNING final step - adding the tail

Finally .....  I decided that, even though it wasn't visible in my original reference photo,  the cows tail should be added to close the composition. Every other photo I had from that morning had the tail hanging straight down so it was not difficult to place it in the picture.

COUNTRY MORNING polish the bucket and add a 3rd hen

I felt the composition could fit in 1 more hen to really set the scene and convey that friendly country atmosphere. The furthermost hen from the reference photo became my foreground lead in character. There was not much detail showing in the reference photo but that was actually ideal for the part I need her to play. Although her head is clearly turned back towards the viewer, I don't feel she is calling attention to herself but almost inviting company.
The bucket also was in need of a polish if it was to appear clean enough to receive milk. A handle and reflections were added.
The shirt extension was softened with a eraser to blur it into the background.
A simple lighting and shadow effect on the ground helps to maintain the central focus.

02 February 2011


Detail was added to the hens. Much of the shadow effect on the white hen was achieved by simply rubbing the white pastel off with my finger to allow the paper colour to show through.
Although the hens are very much in the foreground, and so quite large, their details have been kept fairly vague so as to not draw undue attention. They are not main characters but simply support props to set the scene.

With the addition of the hens I decided that the shirt needed to be extended to the other side of the picture to maintain balance.

COUNTRY MORNING hen reference photo

My reference photo for the hens.

01 February 2011

COUNTRY MORNING blocking in the hens

After reviewing the composition I decided the bottom looked empty. It needed more chooks to set the scene and give that real country atmosphere. I had to be careful though, I didn't want these additions to have too much detail or they would compete with the portrait for attention.
Back in my photo library I found a photo of 3 hens  that was just right for the job.
It took a couple of attempts to get the positioning just right. My first position I decided was too close to the rooster so I erased them and moved them back a pace. ( you will notice the patch of chest missing on the rooster )
That is the beauty of working on quality paper - if you are not happy you can erase and rework at any time.

Hi there

My photo
Gympie, QLD, Australia
I love to paint and draw and I often teach to share my passion with others. Currently I am focussing on producing some step-by-step painting lesson dvds.