This will be my first painting using a bird as the primary subject in about 10 years! I have decided to post the steps along the way. In my mind, this is insane because it could be a total failure. Taking risks is what being an artist is all about however... So please join me in my 'risky business', painting a large bird, the Great Egret. I'm calling him 'Big Bird'. That keeps me away from my ornithologically geared past, and instead I have in mind the creative people on Sesame Street. ;-) They had so much fun, and I intend to also.
This first photo is of a couple of small color comps that I did mostly for placement, trying to decide if I wanted this egret front and center in the composition, or setting back into the picture plane. At first I thought that I wanted the bird to set back into the composition, to be more a part of the landscape, not a portrait. I was slightly hesitant to confront an egret that is about half life size on a 30"x40" canvas at first. But the more that I have thought and planned the more confidence I'm gaining in my ability to pull this off. My final composition is now closer to the sketch on the right and I'm happy with that placement.
Big Bird! (temporary title:)... 30x40 on RIX oil primed linen... First wash in just to map out placement.