Friday, April 20, 2018

A duck to water

Months after I was back home after my merry trip to WI, looking over a 100 plus photos of purely Myrtle, I thought she just might be the right one to draw to enter in the Birds in Art Exhibition down the road. 

After all I had soo many interesting poses of her as she was very animated that morning on the dock. But eventually after working out the cropping and composition I decided to have her in just a simple pose looking out over the lake. 

The inital design I worked out felt very pleasing to me. Well balanced, where the viewers eye could travel around and through the drawing but was never thrown out of it. 

I made the center of interest the water below the dock. That is where the viewers eye enters, with all the dark tonal variations and large abstract shapes that lead the viewers eye right up the pole of the dock to the merganser.

The rest of the drawing I feel supports this center of interest with sharp and soft edges and value contrasts. With the absence of color I wanted to make sure that these other supports held up just as well. 

Sittin' in the Mornin' Sun  (c) 11.5x10.25

I truly enjoyed composing and drawing this piece and feel it's one of my stronger pieces in my portfolio of work. I hope to do more ducks down the road using the same design principles as Sittin' in the Mornin' Sun.

A sitting duck

Sittin' in the Mornin' Sun (c)2018 11.5x10.25 graphite pencil

A few years ago my sister and one of my best friends flew to WI to attend Barbara Jaenicke's pastel workshop at the beautiful Dillman's Bay Resort in Northern WI!

While slowly making my way to class one morning from our cute little log cabin I spotted a funny looking duck out on the pier in front of the classrooms. I had never seen a duck like this before, so my attention quickly diverted over towards her and with camera in hand I sat with her for quite awhile, missing out on part of the morning session...leaving my friend and sister wondering what had happened to me in such a short distance!

At the very end of December 2017 I started to draw Myrtle the female Merganser from WI, trying to get her complete in between commissions with a deadline in my head of April 15th. Not for tax day of course...but to enter her in the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum's Birds in Art Exhibition

You see, I use to live about half an hour away in Plover WI so this was a pretty big deal even then. In 1994 I was even invited by a friend who's air brush painting juried into the show, to the closed artist reception, meeting in person Robert Bateman, Carl Brenders, Richard Sloan, just to name a few of the master artists there! Ever since that exhibition, I had always wanted to enter a piece of art in it but was too intimidated to even try. That is until now!!

Now I feel I am skilled enough, experienced enough, and feel worthy enough to be in the same exhibition as the great wildlife masters I have admired and been SO inspired by through the years. So I tried, and if I don't get in I am ok with that as at least I finally mustered up the courage to go for it this year. Next year I will be even more confident and ready to enter again!!

**stay tuned for my next post about how I designed and composed my drawing of Myrtle**


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