This was done from a photograph that hangs in my parents' den. It's been around for many years, and for just as many years I have wanted to paint it. There was some anxiety attached to that longing, it was such a beautiful photo takn by my dad on one of his fishing trips. I'd hate to mess it up. But I finally did draw it back in June when I was there. I studied the photo several times a day, and made mental notes. When I finally drew it, I also made paper notes. Then I went home and painted it. I used liquid mask (lots of it) on those tiny polka dots. The challenges were to get a dark enough color, to recreate the interesting green water, and to blur out the male and the chick. This last proved the most difficult, as the male loon always looked as if he was rearing out of the water like a breaching whale. At that point I thought it was ruined, so I decided to continue experimenting wih the color of the water. I added a second, deeper wash of color right over the background birds. And suddenly, it worked. That loon settled right down, and the colors blurred enough to look like the photo. So I decided I liked it. And even better, my co-workers chose it to hang in our library gallery.
Watercolor in Moleskine sketchbook, 5"x7"