Those who follow my facebook page, Evelyn Antonysen at Forth Art Studio, will be aware that I am currently preparing for an exhibition of works on birds, “Wings”, to open mid-December. I have been posting some photos on my fb page but will also share them here. My initial degree was Science based asIi trained to be a Maths/Science teacher so scientific illustration has always been an interest. I love the careful observation and rendering but it art I also love freedom to go beyond accurate recording…. more of that looser style later. Most importantly, whatever style of presenting the image is adopted, the personality of the creature must be captured.
Superb Blue Wren preening
The most tricky of these 3 paintings was the wren as it’s form is not readily recognisable. Interesting I feel it is the one which captures the animal’s “personality” best…. perhaps because I watch them so much…. very entertaining and the males are so vain.
Some of my earliest drawings and paintings are of birds. It is a subject to which I often return both with painting and drawing and with photography. This, pied oyster catcher, is my most recent bird painting. My reference was a photo I took at the end of 2011 while on a trip to Northern NSW, returning via the coast. I took every opportunity to photograph my beloved feathered friends.
Continuing with my enjoyment of painting birds in watercolour, my latest two are a plover and egrets which inhabit the local estuaries and coastal river areas. The plover painting is overall more realistic although the background is not true to the original image. Instead it evolved from broad sweeps with a loaded hake brush on damp paper for the water area. The bird was first masked out so the strokes would flow through. The pebbles in the sand were built up by charging and dripping paint at various stages of wetness. A little palette knife scraping and drybrush added texture.
The foliage and grasses in the egret work were created through dribbling, spattering , blowing and charging the Winsor primaries plus Ultramarine. A rigger brush added free calligraphic marks after the work was dry.
These works continue a frequently recurring theme of mine of contrasting illustrative style painting with free expression…… left and right brained modes of working, or scientifically accurate versus creative happenings……. yin and yang.
I was Science (and Maths) teacher before I started on my journey as an artist so it is natural that botanical art holds some appeal. (my Uni major was in Environmental Science). Looking through some photos of older art works while preparing for an artist talk at a local art group, i came across this watercolour done whilst artist in residence at a local primary school. It shows some of the vegetation of Sykes Reserve in Railton, Tasmania.
Another of my illustrative style watercolours. Good to keep drawing skills up to date. Different challenge to the free flow beachscapes which I am also currently working on. In many ways easier as more structured and I have a “path” to follow.