Thursday, December 30, 2010


Took this photo out the window of our car when we were in Jackson Hole, Wyoming on our fall trip to Yellowstone.  It's not a great photo - just a quick point and shoot - but it's giving me ideas for a painting. 

The ravens were sitting in the area for parked cars early in the morning.  I cropped off the top part which showed a couple of cars and the street beside the parking area.  I like the way the lines arc in and that touch of pink that was painted on the edge of the parking/sidewalk area.

First thing I did was wet the paper and pin it down to a piece of Gatorboard to stretch it and let it dry.  Then, with a blue watercolor pencil, I drew in the lines I wanted. 

I spritzed the paper again, stretching it a bit more and left it to dry.  (I don't usually prewet and stretch my paper - in fact, I almost never do it - so I think this was just a delaying tactic because I'm not sure about where to place the ravens and I have to gather my crow/raven photos together and draw them on tracing paper so I can then place them on the watercolor paper without mistakes/erasures).

So this is where I'm at and I'll be drawing some birds today.


Rhonda Carpenter said...

I've already decided I don't like the size of the paper = too squared. So I'll cut a nice long piece and do it more like the photo = horizontal format.

Watercolors by Susan Roper said...

I like your slow (delaying tactic aside!) approach to this and agree that it will look better as a horizontal format. Cool lines on the pavement!

RH Carpenter said...

Yep, it's delaying, Susan! ha ha I don't know why I did this on the squared sheet - much better with a horizontal shift like the photo (and I've started it anew). I think I just wanted to paint and wasn't thinking first (bad idea, always, unless you're just doing a little something).

Celeste Bergin said...

I'm tuned in to see what happens next. Good eye...this is a good subject !

Arts web show said...

I say go for it.
It could work great, more so because although simple it looks like it would be a challenging piece

Jeanette said...

I think your decision on a horizontal format is a good one. I'd crop out most of the pavement and just concentrate on the birds.

Its always good to think before painting, especially in watercolour.

Carlos León said...


RH Carpenter said...

Thanks, Celeste, the photo did draw me and I do like crows and ravens!

Thanks,Arts, for stopping by and commenting. I took a look at your blog and thought it was interesting - I'll have to come by when I have more time to browse.

Jeanette, I'm going to play with some greys in that pavement using a lot of mixes - at least, that's my plan (and yes, a plan is always good when working in watercolor!).

Gracias, Carlos!

Prabha N. said...

Sorry for my earlier query about the ravens' background. I saw your posts in the wrong order.