We caught sight of this Louisiana Waterthrush just after crossing the stream that leads to the heavily wooded, deep and dark lowland flats ("Middle Earth"). The sun had actually come out that day, and the whole woods had morphed into a steamy hot sauna. It felt good...
(Oil Pastel, Sennelier Oil Pastel paper)
When we saw this bird, the heat of afternoon was building. It was the first day of sunshine in weeks, and when I got home and started to paint him, my mind was still filled with the heat of the sun. I guess that's why the painting quickly went to reds, oranges and yellows. I never know what will happen when I pick up an oil pastel and start to paint, because for some reason the results are representational and emotion-driven. Using the creamy colors is fun, and no sketching is required. I just start putting down color and let the bird emerge. The finished piece is always impressionistic with a grungy feel. Detail and accuracy are abandoned for color.
I painted this guy several days later. By then the rains and grey cloud cover had returned (so no reds, yellows and oranges!). Seems my watercolor paintings are always a little more realistic and detailed, but this one is still very loose. It was fun to scribble over the top of the painting with colored pencil. I just recently started picking the colored pencils up again. I haven't used them for so long.
I wish I had had a video camera with me to capture the way the warbler was bobbing up and down. He really made me think of a Spotted Sandpiper bobbing and dancing to some unheard forest rhythm.