Swimming Penguin

Cute Swimming Penguin
Watercolor on 300 lb watercolor paper, 3.75″ round

Here’s another animal painting from a photo I took at the zoo. The water was obviously the hard part, especially since I don’t normally ever paint water like that. Also look, it snowed last night.

This’ll be the last entry for this week’s theme, the five color palette I posted on Instagram here. I was going to try finishing another landscape painting this week… but it is my Everest. There’s this one photo I keep trying to paint in watercolor for the past couple of months, and watercolor is probably not the best choice for it. Anyone that can paint that in watercolor can probably paint anything. Also I’m sick, so progress has been slowed a little.

Next week will have a different theme. I have some ideas, but if anyone has suggestions let me know.

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.