I don't think I've painted a Harris Hawk before. The bird is only found in a small part of the U.S. so it may not be a very well-known bird...but I painted one anyway because of the fabulous colors. I used the complement of the orange/brown for the background and like the zing it added to the painting.
I've not been doing my little 75/75 oil studies as I've had my nose to the grindstone trying to get ten oils finished for Art for the Sangres. It's a one afternoon/evening show in Westcliffe, Colorado - September 24th. I'll be there with my work. If you'd like to see the work of the other artists, find out more information on the show, or fill out an 'intent to purchase' on a painting, click on this link and it will take you to the online catalog.
A white bird is almost never white - except where the sun is hitting it. This is one of the reasons I enjoy painting egrets, snowy owls, etc. I'm amazed when I mix the color for the shadowed side of a white bird and it is SO dark - and certainly not white. I had to double-check my colors when I painted this little study as the color for the darkest shadowed 'white' on the palette was a very dark gray. It wasn't until I finished the study that I felt that I'd mixed the colors correctly.
I'm working on paintings for Art for the Sangres, a one-day show in Westcliffe, Colorado on September 24th. What's the expression, 'the hurrier I go, the behinder I get'? That seems to be the way it is this month for pieces for Art for the Sangres. I was in the studio at 6:50 AM in order to get this little study done as I find I paint better the rest of the day if I start the day with a little piece. It is like stretching exercises before you go running.
187 - Red-tailed Hawk
5" x 7" oil study on board, unframed
$75 plus $6 shipping within the U.S.
On a sadder note, the well-known painting-a-day artist, Carol Marine, has lost her home and studio in the Texas fires. She and her family are safe but only managed to save a few things. I hate to hear of someone losing their home, but to also lose your art is tragic. Artists are always trading their work - so I'm guessing that Carol had a pretty extensive art collection.
I finished today's oil study, photographed it and was ready to post it when I realized I'd made a major mistake. I'd painted a male broad-tailed hummingbird on the nest. Oops. That just doesn't happen as the male hummingbird leaves the incubating to the female.
I've lived in my house in Northern Arizona for 34 years where I see dozens of hummingbirds at my feeders, representing five different species. For most of the years I've lived here, I've been looking for a hummingbird nest. When my son was a kid we found one on an apple tree...but when we checked it again a few days later, it had been destroyed. Perhaps by another bird - a jay or a crow?
Now my house is on the market and wouldn't you know it - this summer, there are three hummingbird nests within 100 feet of my house.
I painted the majority of this 20" x 16" oil in one sitting - then spent the next week looking at it, trying to figure out what else it needed. I keep picking up the brush to add ground - and foreground - but have decided to leave it as is. It's done.
One of the reasons I've been painting the 5" x 7" oil studies for my 75 for $75 project is to give me ideas for larger pieces. The little owl painting is one of my studies that sold a month or two ago. It inspired the larger (still unfinished) 12" x 9" owl with moon. I've still got to add the fence post the owl is sitting on, then it will be done. As with the little studies, I'm not going to do much more detail on the owl. I like seeing the brush strokes - it gives it a more painterly feel.
Yesterday's study was a Common Moorhen, found in North America (and perhaps elsewhere?). Today's study is a Pukeko, one of my favorite New Zealand birds. The Pukeko (poo - keck - oh) is is a New Zealand icon. In addition to seeing them in paddocks, estuaries and even alongside the road, tourist shops are loaded with pukeko souvenirs. The bird is about the size of a large chicken. They can fly long distances and also swim. They eat mainly plant material which they hold parrot-fashion with one foot. There is a similar bird in the South Island called a Takahe - though it is flightless and much heavier.