African Pygmy Falcon

African Pygmy Falcon
Watercolor on 60 lb sketch paper, 3.25″ round

I painted this from a photo I took at the zoo, using the same palette as in the last post. The brush for everything was a #3 round kolinsky sable.

Rough draft with palette dish and brush.
Rough draft with palette dish and brush.

Instead of rushing into a new painting, it’s often helpful to first practice with a rough draft. When we look at something, even if we think we’ve seen it, there’s still so many details that are overlooked. A rough draft helps you become more familiar with the subject you’re painting and you’ll have a clearer idea of correct proportions and positioning while noticing previously unseen details.

Above is the previous page of the sketchbook where I was playing with the paint a little before deciding what to make. As the sketch progressed it became apparent that I had misjudged the width of the head, making it too narrow, and had also placed the beak too low. Seeing this helped me make a more focused effort in the areas that had been difficult in the first try. I hope this can show people that even if your first try has errors and isn’t what you wanted to make, you can still try again and do better.

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