The focus in the beginning is to start with the background of the water and snow that is around and behind the ducks. Slowly building up until the shapes of the bufflehead ducks showing up in the negative space.
I used a very thin layer of burnt sienna as underpainting. I don’t do an underpainting for my big paintings very often, but I do for all my colour studies. It helps me to see the light and dark values easier. It gives me a comparison to work from. It just works for me.
I just keep adding layers and layers until I get the background to where I want it to be. I am not in a rush.
The water was fairly calm that day as they paddled back and forth. Actually, the pair were in a ditch, as I mentioned earlier there had been very little melting happening around the lakes even though it was the middle of May.
As the ducks’ paddle past they are creating some rippling in the water behind them. Focusing in on these small details makes the water seem more real. I have changed to a smaller brush to paint in the smaller areas.
I have done a number of paintings with water and each one is so different from the other. I marvel at the very living nature of water and how diverse it can be from even one hour to the next.
I notice that water also reflects darker values. As the ripples fan out, they may crossing paths and creating very distinct forms. Water is always changing. The variation makes water a very rewarding subject matter to explore with paint.
Shawna is capturing moments of beauty from the world around her.
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