When life gives you lemons, draw them, 11 x 14 inches dry pastels, graphite on paper

"When life gives you lemons, draw them". (Nikki)

"Trust your intuition, it's just like goin' fishin'; you cast your line 'til you get a bite." (Paul Simon)

"Color! What a deep and mysterious language..." (Paul Gauguin)

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May 23, 2009


 Kookaburras, 11 x 11 x 3 acrylics on canvas, wrapped sides painted

Kookaburras, 11H x 11W x 3D inches acrylics on canvas, wrapped sides painted – finished today

 Kookaburrahs, 11 x 11 x 3 inches, phase 1 work in progress.  Kookaburras, 11 x 11 x 3 inches, phase 2 work in progress.

Kookaburras, work progress.  March 13th, 2009 blog postThis painting could have been left at phase 3, but the decision to give the birds more definition and sense of realism created a whole new set of problems. For example, the composition which was unbalanced from the start, is now exaggerated and more noticeable, so a third element needs to be added in the upper left corner..not necessarily another object but color or shape that would shift the weight and attention away from the lower left areas.

Kookaburras, phase 3 work still in progress   Kookaburras, phase 4 work in progress. Composition unbalanced; needs third element on left background

There is a stage where, once details are added or changes made to one area, every other thing in the picture needs to be brought to the same level of quality; quality meaning style and feeling of the features.  I don’t regret proceeding but it does mean extra effort to solve all the  new challenges, and usually while attempting to solve those new ones arise.  Other professionals would say this is overworking, but it really depends on what your intentions are as an Artist, and what motivates the work. If risks are not taken sometimes, a painting may never be all that it could be. Phrases we tend to cling to like ‘less is more’ are not written in stone; sometimes more is more…learning is a good thing!

In landscapes details are best left for the imagination, whereas painting animals, birds or other creatures, a purpose needs to be clearer. Is the intention to portray character through shape and silhouette? other traits?  specific markings?  Is it the main focus or only a part of the whole? Computer tools are also useful in playing with colors and other possibilities.

Categories: acrylic painting, Art for sale, Australia, birds, Magic Square Series, series, The Majesty of Trees Collection, travel, trees, work in progress | 4 Comments »

4 Responses to “Kookaburrahs”

  1. karenx Says:
    March 14th, 2009 at 11:06

    I actually like it just fine the way it is….however, I know when you get something in your head “to change”, it’s hard to ignore….maybe just a few squiggles of that previous intense colour with a splash of that orange (that’s in the bottom right?) Or not – it really is lovely as is.

  2. Nikkico Says:
    March 14th, 2009 at 11:06

    Karen, thanks for all your interaction here. It is not lovely as it is, it does still need work – I think maybe you’re right that it could use a splash of color in the right place.

  3. Karen Xarchos Says:
    May 29th, 2009 at 11:06

    Now THAT’S perfect! It’s so beautiful and “swirly”…but I’m the “blending” queen (joke)(sing to Abba’s “Dancing Queen”)

  4. Nikkico Says:
    May 29th, 2009 at 11:06

    Ahha Karen, you are indeed the Blending Queen, that’s great! I’ve just discovered a little trick with the sprayed alcohol we talked about in another post. I couldn’t get it to go splotchy like other artists have done..still need to play with that on larger surfaces, but when I’ve gone too far and have nothing else to loose, spraying alcohol loosens the paint enough to be able to scratch marks into it using my nails under a t-shirt cloth. It’s a good way to throw some drawing in there.


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