Monday, 5 January 2015

As the Crow Flies


'As the Crow Flies' - a study in value

oil on board

20cm x 20cm 

Photo credit -John and Cindi

I always think of a crow as the Vincent Price of the bird world. 

Skulking, heavy-shouldered, piercing all-knowing eyes, the black harbinger of doom according to folklore. There's quite a bit of mythology surrounding them going back to the Greeks and it makes interesting reading.

'As the Crow Flies'

However, they can be quite comical and entertaining as I have discovered on my many rambles around the countryside. 

It's always a great thrill to see a field of them pecking away at the stubble from the just harvested wheat fields or sulking and looking downright miserable clinging to a bare tree branch in an English downpour.

In a former life I did a series of textile pictures based on crows in a tree and a couple of  years ago painted them sitting out a snowstorm.  

'Three Crows Sit it Out'

Hmmm...I do seem a little pre-occupied with birds, don't I? hey ho...

Anyways, this was a joy to paint and was a study in value. Having had no formal art training ( I was a potter in a former life and only took up painting two years ago) I recently (48 hours ago) read an article on value and apparently it's the biggest thing that will help my art improve. I'm meant to squint a lot, compare every value with every other value and to practice this on a daily basis. Hmm....I'll try.

My palette consisted of just three colours - Lamp black, Paynes Grey and Raw Umber with obviously a dash of white here and there for good measure.

It was a revelation to discover just last year, that I generally work with a limited palette and if you've seen my art on my Facebook Page, you'll see what I mean.

I'm off to look for more corvids!