Sunrise at dawn.
Wading into each others lives.
Togetherness and warmth
(Jack Thompson 2015)
Meet Denis, he’s an egret. I mistook him for a stork initially but I am better informed now. Many thanks to Diane Pickering for the kind use of her reference photo.
What I loved about this image was the soft glow of the morning sun hitting the twigs around Denis’ feet and illuminating his bottom feathers, making them glow a lovely warm yellow.
Quite a large piece I had initial decisions to make, do I keep it large and include the habitat or exclude the habitat and focus on the bird itself. I decided to keep it large – he’s a large bird afterall and have a go at working with the habitat.
It became apparent that I would need to find a method to work with the habitat, I am not used to working on landscapes, my mind was overtaken with all the detail in those twists of twigs and stick.
After experimenting with several different methods I settled on darkening the whole image and placing the dark shadows in first, then lightening it gradually, reinforcing the dark areas and lifting out the lighter areas. This is how I work my portraits and fortunately it worked. The trick is to keep a really light hand with the charcoal so you can blend it in or lift it out. Here’s a quick video of me drawing it……
and another little video where I am describing the process …
Once I’d cracked the habitat I was able to work calmly on the bird itself. Being a white bird it was necessary to keep a very light hand and concentrate on the lighter end of the grayscale.
Here is a little slideshow of all the bits of my progress shots…
I hope you have enjoyed the progress shots of the making of ‘Morning Glow’, Denis has been framed in a dark wooden frame and is ready to hang.
Denis can be purchased from my online shop, click here or on the image above.