Saturday, May 8, 2010

between flitting

Baltimore Oriole perched, turning

This oriole did not stay around long.  He came into our yard, flitted sideways a few times, sang enormously for awhile, and then was away.  I have not seen him again, three days later now.

Alarming color he flies in with.  Do you have a similarly colored bird in your area?  (Nb. We do not live in Baltimore.)

Bluebird perched for a moment

The park across the street almost looks like a field.  So the bluebird paused there.

This sketch is close to the paper, that is, you can see all the strokes that I used, coming "up" from the first charcoal strokes to the colored watercolor and gouache strokes. (And I left the charcoal here rather than, say, bring in a background color to surround the bird.)   Gouache is basically watercolor with an opaque white, zinc white, added to it.  Often I mix white with my watercolors as I sketch, to give the color some "body" as well as opacity.  European art writers used to use the term "body color" in their descriptions of sketches and I think they were referring to gouache or maybe to lightly-dampened pigment or pastel.  Dry pigment or powdered charcoal and pastel can add wonderful grit and body to brushstrokes of paint.   Paint and pigment and pencil and white and whatever can all mix in in many ways.  Without regard to definition, they flit around, these mixtures!  Still, in the moments that they pause, they can start to form brushstrokes or words, or after awhile, a bird.

No comments:

Post a Comment