Mallard Trio

IMG_4238 These birds are the most abundant and widely distributed waterfowl species in North America. Although common, I think they are uncommonly handsome - don't you.  Take the drake for instance, who would deny the iridescence of his head to be less than magnificent? With his striking white-collar and white pin tail tips.  Dapper Dabbler Ducks!

And then there is the uncelebrated mallard hen by comparison.  Various shades of brown leaning towards warm orange, yellowish orange bill upturned in a perpetual smile.  I have actually painted many more hens than drakes over the years.  Just because.

Back to this composition… when all the duck photos I took did not line up quite the way I envisioned for the Ducks in a Row idea, I decided that this would be better as three separate companion paintings.  Still love the title Ducks in a Row  – but it does not really work anymore.  Mallard Trio is as good as I got.  I love the attitude of ducks.  They are confident and almost always look as if they have a secret they are not sharing.  The perpetual upturn at the edge of their bill and the well, their cheeky cheeks!  Of course, I personify them.  They make it so easy to do.

And if you have a better name - I am open.....

 

Sitting Duck

Awhile back, I started another watercolor painting that I was laying out and referring to as Ducks in a Row, working from various source photos.  As I laid out the painting one duck at a time, I began to realize that some of my favorite photos of specific ducks would not fit well into the group composition.  Such was the case of my Sitting Duck.  If I layered her in,  you would miss her backside and the neat perspective.  So I decided she would have to be a stand, er sit alone painting.

Sitting DuckThis particular painting took forever and was pure joy to work on and see it develop.  Ducks make me happy.  Their round cheeks and happy, almost smiling bill make me smile.  To draw and paint them is absolute fun!       On to the next one Dapper Dabbler and back to Ducks in a Row (which may be renamed soon)!

This photo shows the painting darker than she really is.

 

 

One Duckie Two Duckie Slow Duckie - WIP

And slow I go....     I left in the reference photos so you can get the idea  of where I am going with this.  I love the photos with all the  ducks in a row. It is just the ducks with the most personality were photographed separately. The decision of where to place which duck has taken me quite a time to decide.   I mapped them pout loosely in my sketchbook and then changed my mind again and again.  Just have to wait and  see where the next duck will be.  I do know which duck will be last though - he is walking away from the row - he seems to have an attitude.

And at this point, I have no  real plan for the background.IMG_4127

I am loving the colours of the drake - he was so much fun to paint...so far!  The pallet for his is below IMG_4126