Saturday, October 03, 2015

Whooping Crane in Watercolor

I'm on vacation in Panama City Beach with my friend Sandee and we have been spending the week relaxing and painting.  I've been wanting to paint a Whooping Crane for quite a while and I decided that this would be the perfect time.

Whooping Cranes are endangered and many people 
are working tirelessly to bring these beautiful birds back from the brink of extinction.

If you would like to learn more about Whooping Cranes, check out Operation Migration, which is just one of the organizations working to save these wonderful birds.
You can also learn how you can help save these beautiful birds that are 5 feet tall once fully grown.

I volunteer and act as a moderator in the Operation Migration chat room and also to drive the camera at White River Marsh during training and it is one of my favorite things to do.

The colts are being trained to migrate south, by following ultralights and you can follow along with them and watch them live on the Crane Cam.

I didn't think to take step-out pictures of my sketch, masking or laying down the washes for the sky, distant trees and the marsh.  I used Holbein and Daniel Smith watercolors for the initial washes and Bruynzeel colored pencils and watercolor pencils for the grasses in the marsh.

Clouds were added and initial shading on the crane's wings and tail were next.

Then I started laying in the coloring on it's head and legs, building details a little at a time.

...more shading on the wings and laying in the color of the primaries.

...finishing of the details and adding the eye, and I'm calling it finished!
It was so nice to have uninterrupted time to work and it took me about a day and a half with drying time, etc. to complete this 9 x 12 watercolor on Canson Montval 140 lb. cold press watercolor paper.