I noticed that today is World Environment Day, and thought I should commemorate it with a painting. I mean, why not? I believe that watercolor is one of the mediums that is best used for capturing nature and landscapes, but I may be a little biased there. 🙂
Here I share a bird that I have painted recently. It was just to be a quick exercise and more of a sketch. I tried to work on varying my strokes to create more texture and less choppiness. With that goal in mind, I don’t think that this blackbird turned out half-bad.
Hues: Yellow Deep, Sepia, Rose Madder, Black, Payne’s Grey, Ultramarine
This is my rendition of a female yellow-breasted blackbird. It is a little funny because she is brown, as she appeared in the reference photo I had. I wonder if they are more black, usually, but I have not seen one in person, so I just tried to base this off of what I had available. (If you know, drop a comment!) I tried to keep it sketchy and added in the background later because I felt it was too white.
I just wanted to include here how beginning to paint has made me look at my surroundings differently. I don’t brag or point things out to anyone, except my sister sometimes, when we pass by something with natural composition and poise in a landscape (but we are pretty strange, that way :)). What I mean is that I am more attuned to the true color of things, and not what we believe them to be. For example, tree trunks we all know as being mostly brown – but they look better with shades of blue and red, some grey and purple even. A purely brown trunk will often draw attention to itself and look unnatural. Shadows are another thing – they depend on the sun, and are rarely the same shade. Also reflections, they don’t actually follow the sun as much as I originally thought – rather, their appearance really is based on your position and perspective.
What I mean to say is that making art (whether I consider it success or failure) has made me remove my headphones during my commutes and really take in the places along my travels in difference shades of light and weather patterns. I am more receptive to the difference between how we actually see something and what we believe we have seen. Thus, on this World Environment Day, I ask that you take the time to look around you and really try to see where you are. It doesn’t have to be greenery and nature. Some of us live in suburbs and cityscapes where we have formed the environment more than it has us, but it is a place to cherish and observe nonetheless.
Respect it. Reflect it. SquareOne.