by Cathy Hegman
Reference photos are good for generating ideas. I am fortunate enough to have a son that takes great photos. Reference material should be copyright free or if not you should obtain permission to use the photograph. More often than not I like to include animals in my work . My son, Thomas Hegman takes really nice photos of animals and has quite a few, so when I need one I call him and inquire about a particular animal that I need for reference. The bird series of paintings continues, but I am trying to incorporate different birds in the series so I decided on penguins.In the above painting the penguins are residents of the Memphis Zoo and Thomas had photographed them on a trip to the zoo last summer. I was particularly intrigued with the idea that my son, Thomas, is a pilot and the penguins are flightless birds, it gave me the perfect title of "Flight Risks". Thomas has photos online here is the link: Flickr: coolhand3011's Photostream, you can contact him if you would like to do so.
I used color to express the emotion I wanted in the painting. The emotion I was after was happy anticipation. I used warm hues of orange and yellow in the background to contrast with the normally cool climate of a penguin. You might have noticed by now that I love contrast in all aspects of my paintings, I find it gives the painting both cerebral and visual intrigue. I also challenged myself to paint these black and white birds using intense color and no black. The darkers values of the deep blues and purples form a solid connecting shape in the painting, giving is stability. The white that appears on the penguins is the lightest value and it works to lyrically lead your eye through the painting. The human eye will look for contrasts in values in a painting and will seek out like values. This is a good point to think about when you are planning your value study.
The use of color and value in the shapes that make up the painting can give your design the additive it needs to project the emotion you are after.
This painting, "Flight Risks" is watercolor and gouache on gatorboard. I have an article coming in the August issue of "Watercolor Artist" that explains this technique in detail.
Now, I am off to paint in my studio. I have had the urge to paint some canvas lately, so I am sure it will lead to new ideas and challenges. I just unpacked a shipment of wonderful acrylic paint from Nova Paint. I highly recommend them as they are very economical and extremely nice paints. If you would like to order some for yourself, the link for Nova paint is http://www.novapaints.com/. I am trying some new colors and I am anxious to see what they inspire! I will post the results next week!
Thank you for reading and have a wonderful week!
All artwork and text posted on this blog are solely owned and copyrighted by Cathy Hegman and should not be reproduced or copied in any form or fashion without the expressed written permission of Cathy Hegman. Anything included in this blog is solely the personal experience and thoughts of the artist and not meant to be anything more than helpful guidelines for others to read.