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Duck with Landscape: What Started as a Thumbnail Sketch…


Left: A duck in a landscape, Daniel Smith watercolors over graphite sketch, 2-7/8 inches x 3-1/2 inches (on a 6 x 8 inch page in my current journal.) The actual image has more yellow in it—especially in the sky and ground. Click on the image to view an enlargement.

Last week I spent some time writing about fast sketches and pushing things past the point where they fall apart. I find I am still in process mode today and wanted to share this sketch of a duck I did with a landscape.

This sketch started as a thumbnail and it may or may not become a finished painting. But here is what happened.

I wanted to do a sketch of a mallard with a landscape behind him. Just a whim really. My bird paintings tend to be very large and the birds, typically just the heads, tend to be a bit "in your face." And I am always looking to improve my landscape painting skills. In the 1990s I did a series of paintings with animals and birds peering out of the frame. I wanted to get back to something a bit more overtly narrative.

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