Tuesday, June 26, 2007

EDM Challenge Yellow

Have you every had one of those periods where you're just not happy with anything you do? You just can't seem to get onto the paper what you see in your head? I was quite happy with these little goslings and their olive yellow colors, but I just couldn't get the background right. And I'm not quite sure how to get that fuzzy glow around the goslings. But the deal was, if I do the challenge, I post the challenge.

For the last seven or eight years, a pair of Canada geese has come to the outside courtyard of the college where I work, and nest in one of the large concrete planters. It's a good spot because it juts out over the lower courtyard, and can't be reached by curious bystanders. Once the goslings are hatched, the proud parents march them through the courtyard, down the steps, and out to the pond in the back. We are all quite protective of these geese, but unfortunately this year, one of them was killed probably by a coyote. Later I noticed that there were three geese near the pond. I like to think that one of their offspring have found their true love and come back to the family nest to carry on the tradition.

Here in Calgary, the Bow river does not always freeze over, and so we have lots of geese and ducks that winter over and never leave. They become quite a nuisance in the parks and especially on the golf courses. One course took the unique step of hiring a beagle named Daisy to go out on the course and scare away the geese. Can't you just see Daisy's resume - "Will bark at birds for kibble and tummy rubs". But it did seem to work, without harm to either geese or dog.


Anonymous said...

Lynn, the problem is that the background color is so light that the softness of the ducks backs doesn't show. A darker color would make it more visible. I don't know what kind of paper you're using, but I would paint the yellow back first - beyond where you've drawn it (outside the line a bit), then let it dry completely. When the duck's back is all dry, rewet the area lightly with clear water and paint a darker color from the outside going lightly into the wet area. This will give you a soft edge of a light glow against a darker background and it will look fuzzy. You need good watercolor paper to do this - 140 lb. or so. Fuzzy glowing things require a darker contrast color for the effect to work. Try this on a scrap paper first. Hope this helps, Karen

caseytoussaint said...

They look adorable, Lynn. I know that Canadian geese are also a huge problem in New Jersey, where my mother lives. There are companies who bring their dog around to scare them away for a fee, but you see people's yards that are completely full of them.

biteyourowntail said...

Being a watercolour novice I can offer no advice on technique, but I agree that the background is too light.

I usually find if I'm feeling unhappy about everything I do (which happens frequently) I'm usually about to move on to another level in some way - it's good time, for me anyway, to really push myself. These periods do seem to visit most artists and my tutor says it's a good thing - complacency is the enemy! Keep at it!

Africantapestry and Myfrenchkitchen said...

They are so cute Lynn!They just invite you to pick them up and cuddle them!

Lynn said...

Karen, thank you for your advice. The sketchbook I use has 70 lb paper and so dark backgrounds are difficult. I will try this again on heavier paper, using your suggestion of painting a darker color from the outside. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

These are so cute. As I don't paint, I can't offer any advice, sorry. There is a huge population of geese in Greensboro. Traffic will stop for them to cross the roads. I think it's kind of cool. Every once in a while I will see one mangled on the road and I wonder who would be so cold? I was at the front of a line of traffic one day when a mama and her 4 babies were crossing the road. Some impatient driver (probably from up north, wink, wink) was blaring his horn behind me and I just put my car in park and waited for them to cross. He swung out around to pass me and then stopped dead when he saw why I stopped. :-) But, he stopped, too! They will fly into our yard early in the morning and wake us up. Better than roosters.