Saturday, January 15, 2011

Maniacal Belted Kingfisher

This male Belted Kingfisher lives on the patch of the Little Miami River I walk often. Every time I'm there, he screams his maniacal call up and down the river. After all these years I've only been able to get two decent photos of him, which I used as references for this painting.

Painting 102, Maniacal Belted Kingfisher
Watercolor heightened by pastel
9x12 Arches Cold Pressed 140 lb Watercolor Paper

The colorful pastel painting above started its life as the sedate watercolor painting below. Economy of brushstrokes was the theme of the watercolor because I wanted a change from the detail I had put into the Screech Owl. It was a fine painting, understated and watery, but it seemed too tame for our kingfisher's personality. I wrote about this guy in October of 2009, and from that text, "screams at unknown terrors" as he wings his way down the river, covers him very well, so I crazied the watercolor up a bit. I decided to include the original watercolor in the post because some may prefer it. In our house, Matty LOVES the colorful pastel, but Rick prefers the original watercolor. (I dig the pastel...)

Sedate Belted Kingfisher...
I scanned the watercolor just after I started to jazz it up. You can see the beginnings of the orange pastel. I also had added white acrylic to the sky to give the paper more tooth to hold the pastel.

28 comments:

Carol Mattingly said...

Kelly I prefer the original watercolor too. But I like the pastel also. Carol

Kelly said...

Hi Carol! Most will prefere the watercolor, that's why I included it. :-) Thanks!

Jayne said...

Ooooo... I love the vibrance of the pastel! Amazing Kelly!

Roy said...

They are maniacal, aren't they? And really, really averse to letting you within camera range!

And I'm another vote for the pastel.

Kelly said...

Hi Jayne and Roy! Yeah...two more in my camp (it's Rick vs. Kelly & Matty--not really)! They are maniacal, so I had to do something. I might try him again...the next time from life sketches. I have ideas in my head...

Montanagirl said...

Great job, Kelly - Love his hairdo!

Kelly said...

...thanks, Mona!

Jeni said...

They are both gorgeous pieces =) And now I know what that horrid noise is when I'm out hiking.

NatureFootstep said...

cool! Love it. This is a bird I hope to see soon. I will go to Costa Rica and it is supposed to be there. :)

Cicero Sings said...

The pastel suits the maniacal visage ... its wild and woolly side! They ARE hard to photograph.

Hilke Breder said...

I love the pastel, Kelly. It's so energizing. Just what I need, a little mania, as the snow is falling and the world seems white and muffled.

Chris said...

Wow, I love them both but I have to admit that I have a small preference for the first one... You are so talented!!

Grizz………… said...

I guess I prefer the watercolor…but the pastel really captures the personality.

I see a kingfisher or two almost every day. Lucky for me, they often hunt the pool directly in front of the cottage. Even so, getting a good photo is just the side of impossible—you have to be both sneaky and lucky. Even the pileateds are easier.

Nicole MacP said...

Both are great, but the energy of the pastel is amazing!

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Hi Kelly, I have never seen a Kingfisher except in pictures. BUT--whoever sees one has to know exactly what it is... They are very unique birds, aren't they?
Hugs,
Betsy

Sarah Knight said...

The pastel version suits him very well :D

Elizabeth Smith said...

Both versions work well - it depends on which side of the kingfisher story you are relating to!

The watercolor seats me in his environment and the pastel version enhances the maniacal personality part.

One of my favorite birds, BTW - great job!

Roy said...

The two finished articles have their own distinct qualities Kelly. So it wouldn't be right to choose one over the other. I like both for what they are.

Kjell T. Evensen said...

They both look good. The first one will look great in my kitchen. :)

Lois Evensen said...

Very, very nice! :)

Chad said...

I wish I had the talent to create art like you do. What a great representation of the Kingfisher - before and after! My wife bought me a sketch book along with some stuff (not cool enough to know the names of everything yet) to get me started. Hopefully I will get it!

Appalachian Lady said...

I love both the pieces, especially the top one with so much color.

Kathiesbirds said...

Wonderful painting! I like it jazzed up also even though the watercolor is probably more realistic! I think painting should be full of personality and be expressive as well.

Kelly said...

...thanks, everyone for the very kind words and encouragement!! Looks like it's fairly even....both versions have fans, but the jazzed-up version may have nudged into the lead!

Mike B. @ slugyard.com said...

DEFINITE vote for the pastel. Love it.

Larry said...

Definitely the pastel Kelly. They are such amazing and wild bbirds, the pastel fits them very well.

The Belted Kingfisher was one my nemesis photography birds until just recently when I finally got some shots with the digiscope. One of them was posed in my last Beat Writers post on Turtle Bay.

Margaret Bednar said...

LOVE the vibrant pastel, hands down! Amazing work.

Mary said...

I like it both ways :-) They do have a wild call...so easy to recognize when you hear them.