Saturday, April 30, 2011

A Golden-crowned Kinglet and a snowy day on the Little Miami...

I saw this Golden-crowned Kinglet on January 30, 2011 along the Little Miami River. It was one of those rare "sunny" winter days (ours are most often gray), and deep evening shadows had stretched through the winter woods creating an eerie blue world. The kinglet paid no mind to the sapphire glow, and went about the business of feeding himself. He had a long night ahead and needed the fuel to stay warm...

Painting 140. A Golden-crowned Kinglet on a Snowy Day
Watercolor, 9x8 Arches Cold Pressed 140 lb Paper

This little fellow was so close to me. He was off the trail about 5 feet in a tiny gully. A dead branch was sticking out of the snow and offered him the perfect perch. I was looking down at him, watching his endless foraging when he paused for a moment and looked up at me. It was a tiny little look with a tiny little head tilt, but it was there. He immediately went back to the hunt, and in a few minutes flew further down the trail. This is the same bird that appears in paintings 118 and 119. Click here if you want to see them...they are among my favorites.

Pencil sketch of a Golden-crowned Kinglet
I completed the sketch for this painting back in February! It was snowing on that day, and now that I read the text, I remember the snowflakes were huge. Nature journaling (even if it is from the car) is a great way to remember the special moments of a day.

10 comments:

Carole Meisenhelter said...

what a wonderful moment when he looked up at you. Such a lovely sketch and apart from the g.c. kinglet I love the peeling texture on the branch you captured so well too.

Montanagirl said...

Just so neat to catch that little look he gave you. The sketch is great - the painting is superb.

Elaine said...

Nice! Making the notes on your sketch helps you remember what was happening and how you felt at the time, and that helps to give more life to your painting.

Sarah Knight said...

That's some beautiful work!
It's always fun to go back and remember the things that were going on when you drew something :D

Janice K said...

Love it! It's feathers look so real.

Out on the prairie said...

Very nice, it sounds like you are seeing quite a few old friends coming back

Lois Evensen said...

So sweet! Having your notes with your sketches is so nice, too, so that you can look back and see the history with your work. Lovely.

Michael Bartneck said...

wow...how do you get such detailed lines with watercolor? nice..and I like the birch branch bark too.

Kelly said...

...thanks, everyone! I do like to write out my encounters. Before I started blogging (and didn't carry the camera with me on every hike), I carried a field journal and wrote about each hike (and sketched too). I miss that and am trying to do more of it. until then, I'll just write about it in the car while I'm waiting! :-)

Michael...I get the detail by laying in layers...one layer, letting it dry...then adding another layer....it's really not detail, just implied...but it looks detailed. The branch took me longer than the bird possibly!

Roy said...

Superb detail on the plumage Kelly.