A Parrot… from Start to Finish

After doing a whole month of ink work it was hard to let go. I started drawing a parrot on a pre-painted acrylic ink background, fully thinking I would do it all with my ink filled fountain pen.

Instead of having my subject looking off the edge of the book, I usually place it so it’s looking toward the center of the book as I do here.

I even put quite a bit of work into the shading and modeling of the beak but it didn’t feel right. I got up, made myself a cup of tea, and thought about why I was so hesitant to keep going. I finally realized I was missing color!

This parrot is red. No, not just red, but a screaming scarlet red! And he wasn’t about to let me portray him with a bunch of black lines.

OK… color. I could use red watercolor but because green is its complement in color theory the red would turn muddy grey against the green. Not what this parrot deserves.

I went in search of my gouache that has been languishing in a drawer since earlier this summer. Gouache has larger particles of pigment which in turn yields greater opacity. Just what I was looking for.

I layered the gouache thick enough to obscure the background, along with ninety-nine percent of my ink lines, but not so thick that the paint will crack as the page is turned.

As I was debating what to do on the verso page of the spread I remembered an overheard humorous comment on the current political climate… “What could possibly go wrong?”

It had to go in the journal!

I still chuckle every time I open the journal and see this spread… just one of the reasons why I create.

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