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First Outing

First Outing
Medium: Pastel
Base: Paper
Year: 2011
1st place - Professional Division, Pastel Society of Victoria monthly meeting (October 2011)
2nd place - monthly qualifier of McClelland Guild of Artists, "Artist of the Year" competition (February, 2012)
Pastel on pastel paper is derived from photographs taken our home gardens on the Mornington Peninsula, Victoria, Australia. The lorikeet was just learning how to fly and was still not afraid of people. My husband was able to pick him up and give him a perch in one of our flowering shrubs and he happily posed for the camera! A lot of little details have been deleted and the colours have been modified to suite. The background has been simplified so that your attention is only on the lorikeet.
I love drawing animals and wildlife. I am not as good with some as others so since I want to be able to accept any commission that may come my way, I recently made an effort to try to improve my skills in this area. Colourful birds, in particular are a popular subject for art collectors and many people like to see paintings of them in their homes. The parrot family is a favourite of mine as they have so many beautiful colours and such great little personalities.
My problem has been getting lost in all the patterns that their feathers create. As you start drawing up feathers you can get a little lost and the patterns get harder to follow as you get into areas where they change colour or are a lot smaller. Without some methods to work these out my birds were a bit less than satisfactory. This year I have been lucky to study with an artist who has given me some tips on how to approach subjects like birds as he does them himself.
I owe him a great debt of gratitude, because without his input this painting would never have been as good as it is. It was such a great joy to paint this piece. As I worked my way through it I knew as soon as I got the expressive little eye done and the layers of darker feathers on the head that I could put together all the other pieces as well, including the changes of colours through the chest.
I was so happy when I saw this piece completed from a distance. There it was! A beautiful, colourful lorikeet looking real, but not photographic. I have happily entered this work into it's first showing for the 2011 Spring Exhibition. It is also going for it's first peer review this week at the Victorian Pastel Society (3rd October 2011), I hope they love this little guy too.
Dimensions: 56 cm (width) × 46 cm (height)
Ownership: Artist
Credit: Original photography by Stephen Welker
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