Great White Heron Watercolor

Great White Heron photograph
Great White Heron photograph by
Elise Beattie.

I have been working on different approaches to rendering this Great White Heron from a photograph by Elise Beattie who teaches, “Fearless Painting” classes. The first post about this is a pen & ink study.

Step-By-Step Watercolor

Great White Heron Sketch

While studying the picture, I kept feeling as though the best part of the picture was missing. What would that be? Well, the reflection of the bird on the water. Being an artist allows me to go ahead with adding the missing piece in as I render this subject. I believe it is called the artist license.

Render Sun Reflection

Great White Heron 02

Watercolor requires that you start with where you want to reserve white, then begin laying down lightest colors first. In this that will be where the sun is laying on the water.

Background Reeds

Heron 03
Heron 03

I start to lay in the reeds behind and am careful to avoid where my Great White Heron is. Must preserve a pristine white area to work on later for the center-of-attention character.

Heron 04
Heron 04

As I add in the reeds on the right side additional lily pond type leaves are added to help the composition move in a circular motion.

Render Water

Heron 05
Heron 05

Using royal and cerulean blues I begin to put the ripples of the water in.

Heron 07
Heron 07

Reflections

A reflection is simply the original image turned upside down on the water. After turning it we need to take into account that the surface reflecting the image is not flat. As in this water scene with it’s many ripples that cut-up and distort the image. The more I apply the reed reflections and water colors I begin to lose the heron reflection so I apply a soft gray there that helps me to see it better.

Heron 09
Heron 09

This next step is scary as I apply a wash over all the water using ultramarine blue.

Heron 10
Heron 10

At this point I am darkening reflections and making details and adjustments. I should be able to finish this image this week. When I complete it I will be sure to post it so you can see it. Happy painting.

Muley Doe… a Deer a Female Deer

A muley doe pauses at the treeline in Glacier Lake National Park in Montana. This was one of my first encounters with wildlife. Moments like this are like gifts from God and nature.

A gift of pristine wildlife standing still for a portrait at very close range.

muleydoe1Initially, the portrait starts with a pencil sketch drawn from my photograph.

Apply Washes to Doe

muleydoe2Next I begin to wash-in large areas, reaching more for correct values than finished colors. I actually squint my eyes to see where the darks and lights are. The areas kind of blur together and show up better that way. I have been fortunate to have taken classes from talented artists, and one that I have been inspired by is Stan Miller who teaches watercolor and that it is the values that are more important than the colors and he is so right!

muleydoe3Adding sky background and foliage along with some of the dark values to the doe face and eyes starts to show the personality that I envision.

Muley Doe Details

muleydoe4Things slow a bit as I work on the details of the deer. Focus is on the doe features and her background and I am being careful to leave white limbs from the tree behind.

Muleydoe5Progress is gradual as I add shadows to show where the tree trunk and limbs are, along with a ground tone wash to bring in a base for her to stand on. It is not good to have her floating above the ground.
muleydoe6Finally, I am getting more done as I add more details. First, some lights followed by some darks. Using an Azo Yellow, I am careful applying the final wash. The whole painting is brightened up with the final wash and the greenery and her fur now have a much better glow.

Muley Doe C192019
Muley Doe C192019 – 9″w x 12″h watercolor

Here she is, je suis fini!

A watercolor painting of a Glacier Lake National Park Muley Doe posing for the artist with her camera in the summer of 1990. Check out the beauty in this park. The picture was taken in the park at the top of Logan pass.

 

Celebrate, celebrate…

FIRST DAY BACK SKIING… in three years! YAHOOOOOO!

3 years ago, I had open heart surgery so skiing was put on hold for quite a while. Yesterday we went skiing and I am feeling so glad to be alive. Life is SO GOOD! When you find something that makes you smile just thinking about it – go for it YEAH!

beginning oil painting of 49 degree North mountaintop 49NpanoG4306

Thought you might like to see a favorite view I painted from time spent on the hill, here is a shot of the painting just started and then another of it finished. See more about a great mountain at, 49 Degrees North Ski Resort in Chewelah Washington.

Let it snow…

January 2016 it is snowing today and I thought a watercolor of snow would be appropriate to post. Yellowstone in the winter is the most amazing vacation memory I have with Pete. Really something worth doing. These Bison were walking so close to us I could not get a whole one in a picture frame.

Bison walking in the snow.

http://valeriewoelk.com/GALLERY/BisonYellowstoneL2211.html

TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS Day #10

ORIGINAL ART For that special person on your list at heavily discounted holiday prices…

Contact me here… or simply go to our website Valerie Woelk original art to see more pictures and descriptive information about today’s special or any other art you may want. There are many paintings available for immediate shipment or pickup.

Daisy Forest G1711 $95 (unframed), $195 (framed)

Forest path in a field of daisies

24″w x 18″h oils on canvas board. Oil rub-out technique of the Northwest forest with a floor covering of Shasta daisies.

 

TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS Day #5

ORIGINAL ART For that special person on your list at heavily discounted holiday prices…

Contact me here… or simply go to our website Valerie Woelk original art to see more pictures and descriptive information about today’s special or any other art you may want. There are many paintings available for immediate shipment or pickup.

On The 5th Day of Christmas…

“Three Deer” J3002

Three deer, 2 does and a buck
The deer gazing at an approaching sound.

12″w x 9″h watercolor on WC paper. Watercolor of three American white tail deer, two bucks and a doe.

 

TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS Day #4

ORIGINAL ART For that special person on your list at heavily discounted holiday prices…

Contact me here… or simply go to our website Valerie Woelk original art to see more pictures and descriptive information about today’s special or any other art you may want. There are many paintings available for immediate shipment or pickup.

On The 4th Day of Christmas…

“Shaka!” A105 oil painting- $75 (self framed)

Shaka!
Shaka Bruaddah!. This Hawaiian hand signal says it all. The very best.

21.75″w x 27.75″h x .75″t oil on board. Oil rub-out technique portrait of my son’s friend doing the Hawaiian hand signal, “Shaka” which means the very best!