Monday, March 31, 2014

Red-winged Blackbird


"Red-winged Blackbird"
9x12 acrylic on canvas panel
Available through DPW gallery/auction

How to portray a red-winged blackbird? Except for the bit of color on the wing, the bird is devoid of color. Or is it?

I can't help but see colors in black, much the same as I do with white. While white reflects all colors back to the eye, black absorbs them all. And it's how the light hits the objects, and the shadows, that gives us the colors to interpret. At least, this is my understanding.

The richness in the feathers of this bird show as a deep purple along with spots of a deep purple-blue. The highlights on his head & upper breast are reflecting a lilac color back at me, while his beak & leg are showing a very light blue. There is just the subtle red & off-white on the wing.
The colors I used on the bird is Dioxazine Purple, mixed with a bit of white and a bit of Payne's Gray. Touches of Ultramarine Blue were used, and mixed with white to do the beak & leg. The background is a total mix of greens, some from tubes, some mixed - and scrumbled, scrumbled, scrumbled. I  love to scrumble in an out of focus background. Kills my brush but gives it such a great look.

One of the surest sounds of spring is the song of this annual visitor. Whenever I hear this bird, I know the season has changed. Even back to being a young child, I remember their song.

Here's a sampling - Happy Spring!


1 comment:

CrimsonLeaves said...

I thought these birds were striking when I first saw them. I do not remember these birds from my childhood but for some reason when I moved back to IL in 2000 I began seeing them. I still think they are gorgeous! Love that stripe of yellow beneath the red and thank you for sharing their song.

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