Saturday, January 14, 2012

Winter cardinals...

Against dark grey skies and bright white snow, the red of a winter cardinal is vibrant and impossible to ignore. With our first winter days finally showing up, all I had to do was look out my window to see that incredible color. I painted three cardinals in similar poses in three styles...

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.

Painting 207. Winter Cardinal as Night Falls
(oil pastel)

...nothing can tone down the red of a male cardinal as night falls in winter!

26 comments:

TexWisGirl said...

you are SO incredibly talented! i love all 3 of these. that last one is SO dramatic! gorgeous!!!

Montanagirl said...

Yes, talented indeed! I LOVE them all! Especially the one with the snow falling.

KaHolly said...

They are all brilliant!

Guy said...

Hi Kelly

These are lovely. The oil pastel is wonderful.

Regards
Guy

grammie g said...

HI Kelly...Don't just love this bird ...
I love this work ...especially like the middle on ...I tend to be traditional ; } but the last one peaked my interested ...great work.. so much talent : }}
Grace

Roy said...

These are fabulous Kelly.

jyothisethu said...

all the three are beautiful...

Carole Meisenhelter said...

each artwork captivating. It must be hard to step back and spatter acrylic over your finished work. The effect though is perfect. How beautiful the scene you describe; maybe a video-clip one day?

Bluebell Woods said...

I love the cardinal paintings. I also love the watercolours below. I very much want to try that myself from some of my photographs. You have inspired me
Janice

Carol Mattingly said...

They are beautiful Kelly. The second one is my favorite. Hope you're staying warm. It has snowed an inch here tonight. Carol

holdingmoments said...

Lovely paintings Kelly; the last one is my favourite.

Elaine said...

How can you miss with the bright red Cardinal? All beautiful, but my favorite is the second.

Hilke Breder said...

Glorious images, Kelly, all of them but my favorite must be the last one - it looks mysterious.

Kathy A. Johnson said...

Cardinals are some of my favorite birds--and you've done such a beautiful job of capturing their beauty. All lovely paintings, and my favorite is number three.

Jenny wren's nest said...

beautiful

Pam Johnson Brickell said...

Love the texture of 205, the atmospheric feel of 206, but oh, 207 steals my heart with your wild and free marks! Bravo!

Jeremy Medina said...

Wow, very cool!

Andrew said...

Wonderful to see.. you have a lovely talent..

Dave said...

207 is fantastic! You're a wonder Kelly.

Janice K said...

All three are really great. Very pretty.

Gillian Olson said...

These are all beautiful. I like all three, they are so different. I am in awe of your being able to use and combine so many mediums. Well done and thanks for sharing.

the cuby poet said...

What a spectacular bird you show us in your paintings.You are very talented with these beautiful art works. Thank you for sharing them.

Kelly said...

...thanks, everyone! I do have fun with the oil pastels. When my mind is jittery or I feel constrained, I whip out the oil pastels and go to town. Scribbling out an image without worry of detail, proportion, etc., is very freeing. It helps calm my mind down for more detailed watercolors.

Tammie Lee said...

how wonderful to see these three. I loved reading how you made them and what you used. so brave to splatter a finished piece trusting in the right sizes.... to create the effect you want. I love the fluffy feeling to the last ones feathers.

Debo Boddiford said...

All three are so wonderful and unique...but I think the vibrant colors and expressive strokes of the oil pastel painting steals the show!

Caroline said...

I'd love to see one of these beautiful birds! Your oil pastel is my favourite!