Sunday, December 1, 2013

Watercolour Flamingo

I was recently commissioned to paint a flamingo on the same large scale as this African Grey parrot that I painted 2 years back. 

The first thing I did was grab the opportunity to go to London Zoo and see some flamingos in flesh and feather. They are seriously weird creatures - all pink and showy with spindly toothpick legs, unfeasible necks and big banana beaks. It was really helpful to spend an afternoon watching them walk about, feed, preen. They have a very surreal grace and beauty, and are such a joy to draw!

This piece is in fact 1.5 x 2 metres, watercolour on paper. Trying to manoeuvre a sheet that large is a heck of a challenge especially when it's just come off the roll. I used Dr Ph Martin's liquid watercolours, which are really concentrated pigments. They are light-fast and because they're liquid it's easy to mix large enough quantities to cover this size. The paper is Saunders Waterford watercolour paper from St Cuthberts Mill in 300gsm rough.

For a bit of size-scale-comparison-context, here I am sitting next to the beast.

And finally, after flying all the way from London to Cape Town, here he is framed and in his new home!