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Bird Illustrations

Ducks: Green Wing Teal

Green Wing Teal

Green Wing Teal, Acrylic

Green winged teals swimming

Green winged teals swimming, sketch

About the illustration:

At some point during the illustration of the green winged teal in flight, I was not sure if I was improving the piece or going backwards. I began to scan it every several hours to have something to compare to. Here are the results of the scans, below, to show the process. (Things definitely do not always move forward!)

green winged tealAt this point, I had already worked out the composition. I was trying to show the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi rivers. The muddy Missouri causes the Mississippi to be muddy from this point South.

green winged tealMore work here on the confluence as well as some work on the horizon.

green winged teal

More of the same...
 
green winged teal
Began to lighten the horizon so as to make the duck's head stand out. It was getting lost in the horizon. Still working on the confluence but I didn't like how it began to look like land here, rather than a body of water.

green winged tealWorked on the bird's head to bring in more of a sense of mass. Began to put lighter color in the Mississippi (on the right), which helped to lighten the image overall. Added reflection back into water on Missouri side (the river on the left) and moved it back to blue.

green winged tealBrightened the background. Added the third bird, which I eventually took out but wish I had left it in! Began to define the second bird and set it off from the farmland behind it. Worked on first bird's tailfeathers and established more definition and color in wings.

 

green winged teal

Further definition of second bird. Tried warmer colors in first bird with cooler colors in farmland. Began to put in a slight silhouette of the bird, a lighter line around the bird to set it off from the background.

green winged teal

Attempted to bring more contrast between head of first bird and horizon line. Made second bird warmer in color (which I would eventually undo).

green winged teal

This would be where the drawing feels like it's going backwards! I think I was aiming for lightening the beak and head.
 

green winged teal
(Don't remember what I was trying to do at this point...)

green winged teal
(Or at this point...)
green winged teal
Here I was looking at how more brightness in the background would affect the composition.
 
green winged teal
Still generally playing with colors...
green winged teal
And took the colors out, for the most part. I tackled the water here, gave up on the muddy water and just added reflective quality.
green winged teal
This is more or less the final piece. I added the foot, which I should have done earlier so that it wouldn't become something I was avoiding! Fleshed out the farmland a bit more on the right and decided to call it "done".
 
       

 


 

 

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