Lor­raine Wa­try

Colorado, USA, Tad­pole Take­out, wa­ter­color, 19 x 29" (48 x 74 cm) Sec­ond Prize is a two-page ed­i­to­rial fea­ture in Amer­i­can Art Col­lec­tor mag­a­zine

International Artist - - Art Challenge - Con­tact De­tails Email: lwa­[email protected]­trys­tu­dio.com Web­site: www.lwa­trys­tu­dio.com

My In­spi­ra­tion

I spot­ted this blue heron while cy­cling around Stan­ley Park in Van­cou­ver dur­ing a va­ca­tion. I was amazed at all of the wa­terlilies in this small lake and I stopped to take some pic­tures. Then I no­ticed the heron, and I snapped two quick pic­tures and we con­tin­ued on our ride. Later I re­al­ized that one of the pho­tos showed the blue heron hav­ing cap­tured a large tad­pole. I am of­ten in­spired by na­ture and how a sim­ple day-to-day act can be beau­ti­ful. In this in­stance, the chal­lenge of paint­ing the blue heron among the wa­terlilies was dou­ble the fun!

My De­sign Strat­egy

I knew right from the start of this paint­ing that I would set the blue heron off by jux­ta­pos­ing the vi­brant greens against the grays of his feath­ers. Us­ing sev­eral pho­tos, I made ad­just­ments to the lay­out of the lily pads and specif­i­cally po­si­tioned the pink lilies to help draw your eye through the scene. I in­creased the depth in the scene by blur­ring and light­en­ing the back­ground wa­ter lilies. I added a lit­tle more blue to the wa­ter around the bird to re­flect the sky and fur­ther the con­trast of bright and neu­tral col­ors. I cre­ated a cir­cu­lar path by us­ing the bird’s beak point­ing to the two fore­ground lilies, which draw you back to the other lilies and then re­turn you to the bird.

My Work­ing Process

I work from my pho­tos and some­times com­bine two or three to get the de­sired com­po­si­tion. I al­ways do a de­tailed draw­ing and then trans­fer it to my wa­ter­color pa­per us­ing a light ta­ble. I used Arches cold press, 140-pound pa­per. I masked some of the wispy feath­ers on the heron, the bub­bles in the wa­ter and the lilies. I started the back­ground wa­ter by paint­ing wet-on­wet. The heron’s head and eye were next to make sure they were work­ing be­fore I con­tin­ued. I used some very gran­u­lar col­ors, Green Apatite and Zoisite Gen­uine from Daniel Smith, for some of the tex­ture in the lily pads. I ad­just val­ues by glaz­ing color over an area or by lift­ing to cre­ate the il­lu­sion of light.

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