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14 Jan 2013
Views: 297
Comments: 10

I painted this last year on a whim. I used masking fluid and thought I was being so bad for cheating but I didn't know any other way to introduce those white egrets. It's 12x18 on 140 lb. cold press Fabriano wc paper. I went to my very first watercolor painting show this weekend as I've never seen any other original watercolors but my own. Seeing a photo in a picture is sure different than seeing it in real life. I couldn't get over so many paintings that the artists just left all the pencil lines in. When I bought my first good watercolor paints last year the salesperson said that you shouldn't use a pencil when you paint with watercolor. The first half of my learning experience was tough as I only used a brush and a light wash to do any of my watercolor paintings. I've learned since that it's ok to use a pencil too but I did learn to appreciate the difference between simply watercolor and watercolor with pencil. This painting I've posted is just watercolor. There are errors in it but seeing this big painting reminded me how happy it makes me to pull that brush full of beautiful color across those bigger sizes of paper.  

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curtis wood wrote
on 14 Jan 2013 9:47 PM

you did a wonderful job on this painting. great effort!

philo.yan wrote
on 15 Jan 2013 12:58 AM

This piece is to be viewed from a certain distance to appreciate the nuances of colors and shapes.

elisabeth46 wrote
on 15 Jan 2013 3:54 AM

I also use masking fluid, but a fine line can be created, by a white edge of a candle, or even a white, sharpened wax crayon.

Yes, the pencil lines etc, stay with many aquarelles or water-colours. It's difficult to remove them, after, I find. Or probably a sort of fashion. Do not worry about it. Maybe someone out there can shed some more light on this subject.

It's a very nice painting. ( the egrets, could be alittle finer in shapt, maybe use a toothpick dipped into the masking fluid, rather than a brush??) but: Who am I to judge?

C. Brown wrote
on 15 Jan 2013 6:01 AM

Thank you curtis and philo! I do like the colors and it's difficult capturing that certain feeling you feel when you look at a landscape but practice will make better.

elisabeth I'll try the wax idea. It was difficult to achieve that expanse of white wings and bodies. And you're right, somethiing smaller than a cement shovel might have resulted in a more refined shape ;)  I think I'll go back into this and try to fine tune the bird shapes as much as I can if for nothing else but for the practice. Maybe too I'm expecting more from watercolor than is possible. This might be an interesting oil painting.  I was at the Sabine National Wildlife Refuge in SW Louisiana some years ago. It was in the fall and the birds were coming in for the winter migration. There were thousands of birds.  Now that I've read some on composition and light all of my old photos that I love seem not suited for trying to paint a picture of.  

cholzschuh wrote
on 15 Jan 2013 7:01 AM

I really like this a lot!

Charlie Gunn wrote
on 15 Jan 2013 8:04 AM

Ver nice.  I like the colors that you have used.  I always has a problem with masking fluid.   But that may just be me.

jfgarcia wrote
on 15 Jan 2013 8:35 AM


Regarding the should´s and shouldn´ts... I truly believe there are no rights or wrongs in art and it is up to the artist to do whatever works for his art. Whenever I hear of someone criticizing an artist for not doing things "the right" way I am reminded of the Impressionists and specially Vincent Van Gogh who only sold 1 painting while alive and now... 

Somebody migh object to somebody using a projector to draw a figure, apparently Vermeer used the camera obscura to do exactly the same and nobody would object to it. 

Bottom Line: your artwork is YOURS and it is BEAUTIFUL, whatever you are doing works, so keep on doing it 

elisabeth46 wrote
on 15 Jan 2013 1:21 PM

Yes, Catherine, a huge flock of birds is fascinating to watch. We once specially travelled to the States, upstate Maine, to watch and photograph the different bird species your beautiful country has. Near Bar Harbour it was. Once climbing the slopy hills towards the beach, they would see us and would take off immediately, What seemed to us a constructive result of  social behaviour of these birds. Indeed, my photo's did not turn out as good as I hoped for. I hope to get another chance another time.

B.J. Bailey wrote
on 15 Jan 2013 6:15 PM

I love this painting, I think I could sit and look at it all day long. It is beautiful and captures the essence of the scene and day.  I don't have a problem with the birds flying and wouldn't do anything with them.  Some may be a little large but I think when you have so many birds flying at once they do seem a little larger than llife. I wouldn't change a thing.

C. Brown wrote
on 15 Jan 2013 6:48 PM

Oh my. Thank you all so so much for such constructive and positive feedback!