Thursday, 4 August 2016

Golden Eagle

oil painting of golden eagle in flight
Another wildlife piece, a beautiful Golden Eagle. These birds are found in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland and nowhere else in the UK to the best of my knowledge. I have only seen one once but that was in the Alps, and it was very high up in the sky so did not provide me with a view quite like this.
Painted in a about 2 hours - he just came together for some reason. This was a tremendous relief having spent last weekend wiping everything I painted.
Those two hours were spread across 3 days, however, as the elapsed time allowed work to dry or at any rate tack up. 
First day: I washed Transparent Orange over the board and left it to dry (the board is just a piece of MDF that the hardware shop cut for me, which I gessoed with 3 coats of acrylic gesso). 
Day two I basically painted everything else but without the tiny feathers between his eye and beak and without using any white paint except for the beak. 
Day three: when he had tacked up but was not actually dry, I went back in with white to lift the piece, add highlights to eye, head feathers and back. I also scratched in some lines to represent the veins in feathers. 
My goal was to make a painting that said "Eagle!" but without giving in to the temptation to over-work it or recreate the reference photo. The photo, incidentally, was taken by Gary Jones and shared on Paint My Photo.