Monday, June 1, 2009

The Seagull

I decided to try a full-on finished watercolour painting from the seagull sketch in the last post, using a couple more photographs to add reflections of a boat, and the yellow bollard, which struck me at the time as a larger mirror image of the seagull's beak. I don't know if this is compositionally sound, but I liked the three strong shapes of the gull and shadows (is the bottom one too strong? - and it looks like a duck!). I tried to stay loose, but got quite involved in the textures of the flagstones.
Looking at the painting next to the sketch on the screen, I think I prefer the warmer, softer colours in the sketch - darn - I don't know if I have the dedication to do it over again :/

14 comments:

laura said...

Well, I'm partial to cool color, so I like it as is. The bluish light on the seagull's back is dazzling, and your water is really just perfect (the type of thing I'd try to "fudge" and totally mess up!); the bollard's great; the flagstones are great ... If you're unhappy with shape of the gull's shadow, perhaps, very gently, just soften some of the edges (but not on the leg shadows) to make the shape less distinct? But only if it really bothers you; it doesn't me.

Becky Vigor said...

Love what you've done with the watercolour. I like both the warm and cool colours. You could always add a very thin ochre glaze to warm it up.

Cathy Gatland said...

Thanks Laura - after I'd posted this I did blot and soften the seagull shadow - haven't looked at it yet this morning to see if I regret that move! - but good to get your feedback, thank you.

Thanks Becky - I didn't think of a glaze - a bit wary of stuffing it up totally, especially now that I've softened the foreground, and this Fabriano paper is looking a bit weary!

Helen Percy Lystra said...

I like it very much. Softening that forward shadow just a touch may have done it for you if it bothered you. It didn't bother me.

africantapestry said...

You have all these great posts I had to catch up on..and you were in the CAPE!! I'm jealous, jealous, but loved seeing it all through your eayes, reading about "the fairest cape"...so glad you enjoyed your time there!
And your gull..painting, sketch; I like them both. They are differentmand perfect as a sketch and a watercolour. I agree on the shadow if anything, not that it bothers me. but instead of searching for that dedication to do it all over, maybe just go for a softening of te shadow? I love your painting. I feels like a bright sunny day in the Cape.
Ronell
ronell

laura said...

The Fabriano paper is very delicate, isn't it ... It doesn't stand much reworking (which works fine for me as I don't much enjoy reworking! During the critique of a painting class I used to take, people would always talk about all the things the "had to" do to "improve" their pictures. But the teacher would always dissuade them from attempting changes unless something really bothered them, which I thought was a great standard.

Pat said...

Hi Cathy,
Instead of approaching the painting from what you did wrong, look at what went right. I love the coolness of the bird’s head and the halo of the back lighting. Look at the shadows, how they are so full of life and color. What about the birds back and how wonderful those blues are. Well I could just go on. Put it away and it will finish painting itself.
Hugs, Pat

Cathy Gatland said...

Thanks everybody - Laura, that teacher was so right - I get into this self-critical mode where I can't just leave well-enough alone! I will put it away now Pat ;)
Ronell it's great to have you back from your rural retreat. The Cape stay was wonderful, but so short...

Teresa said...

Hi Cathy,

Love your color choices here. Fabulous yellow/golds and cool blues... really makes a striking impression. I agree with Laura on the bluish light on the seagull... really makes him stand out and glow.

Claudia said...

Really nice watercolour!

Vivienne said...

It's really stunning. Shadow is good-great, I think, as the sharp edge reads 'foreground' to me.
The brilliant yellow bollard is quite dominant, deliberately, I am sure, so leave it and enjoy it as you should!! How big is it?
Gloriously sunny here in UK. I hope we will see AG. I have not sent her a message yet... busy days... will do, and please tell her we are here.

Cathy Gatland said...

The yellow is dominant, but the actual painting looks a bit darker without the computer bright-lighting. It's 370x420mm - I always forget to put that on - against Adam's wise instruction! I've told AG you're there - they're working her hard at her new job, and she's flat-hunting for something closer to work over weekends, so hope she'll find time to see you - thanks!

RHCarpenter said...

Love it! Love the more bold colors and like the mimic of the bollard and the bill :) and those shadows are gorgeous. Don't change a thing.

Ginny said...

the yellow bollard,
WHAT us a bollard? I never heard of such a thing?