The Golden Eagle is Scotland’s national bird, and I’ve seen them only on 3 occasions – in a tree, sitting just staring down, soaring way off in the distance, and, amazingly, flying along side the car, and then across the road in front of us (it was a young bird).
I really don’t think I’ve done this stunning bird justice. The background is all wrong to start with, it’s too stationary and I want to see more of the eagle. But…
…It just means I have an excuse, a good one, to do another. I’ll let you know when I do.
I finished working on a cheetah today; I’ve even given it an inspired title – Running Cheetah – just in case you can’t guess from the painting. OK, you are welcome to argue with me on that point. I used chalk pastel on mount board.
I love pastel; it makes me feel very connected to my work because I’m hold the material directly, getting it on both my painting and me, using my fingers to move the colours about on the board.
When I finish working on one of my animals I’m always surprised that I am the one who painted it.
I tried a light background for him first but he lacked drama, and I’ve used some wonderfully sparkly whites and golds (they really do have sparkles in them) that lift his coat. I’ll have to find excuses for using these pastels again.
Sketching or painting outside can be a very relaxing experience, but it all depends on where you decide to plant yourself.
Until recently, I lived in South Korea and I used to love painting in Gyeongju, Korea’s ancient capital.
On this occasion spring was at it’s height and I had completely misjudged the crowds after a harsh winter which were out walking or taking photographs (both national pastimes). Even though it was early in the morning, the only westerner with an easel and chalk pastels was fair game. I was jostled, photographed (as was my work – a big no-no without permission) and I have Korean fingerprints on my painting as pastels had not been seen before. I have never been the centre of so much attention – it’s rather difficult working with a camera lens resting on your shoulder.
My advice? Be careful where and when you choose to set up for en plein air painting, but be very grateful to the temple’s monks who go out of their way to feed and befriend you with a life time’s supply of coffee and boiled sweets.