Painting 205. Cardinal in Snow
(watercolor; background snow created by scraping white oil pastel over a grey watercolor background)
This painting is a study in contrasts—the saturated red watercolor of the Northern Cardinal, which is very soft and blended, contrasts with the rough strokes of the white oil pastel. The contrast creates a very small black/grey halo around the bird to make the scene feel stylized and a touch painterly. It also emphasizes the red of the cardinal.
Painting 206. Cardinal When the Snow First Flies
(watercolor; snowflakes created by splattering white acrylic paint over finished painting)
...as evening falls, most birds head to their nighttime roosts fairly early, but the cardinals linger at our feeders and in our trees until it is almost dark. The other evening, a male Northern Cardinal sat in a tree outside my window while the snow started to fly. Our first heavy snowfall is always exciting, and I look forward to seeing glimpses of red through the heavy and quickly falling snowflakes of evening.
...nothing can tone down the red of a male cardinal as night falls in winter!