Currently on the Easel

WIP - Helen ShidelerI am currently working on a few paintings.  Three are commissions and one is not.  The one that is not spoken for keeps luring me in.  The above painting started out as a poured watercolour.  Once I removed the countless layers of masking compound, I decided to go back in and enhance the ducks.  This is something I normally do with poured paintings.  Only this time I am really going back in. IMG_8009_new

The colours in the photo above are closer to the real deal - the first photo is overexposed but you get the idea.  This is painted from a series of photos I took last spring.  I really love the expression on the faces of these two ducks.  I started this last year and set it aside to work on Christmas commissions and then the 30 paintings in 30 days challenge this January.  As part of the challenge, I also painted these two duckies smaller and on Ampersand Claybord. I guess I am not finished with this subject yet.

Flirtin by Helen Shideler

"Flirtin" is available on my web site by clicking here


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.....