Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Young Herring Gull profile. Graphite and Watercolor

What a hot and sultry stretch of weather we're having in the NorthEast. All the better to have a AC die on one of the hottest days of the summer, and no new ones in stock to be found. Yes, that happened last Thursday to us, we spent Saturday looking for a new one. We went to 3 Home Depots, a BJs, a Lowes, and a Walmart. None to be found. Luckily, a friend let us borrow one that he had in the attic - it looks to be over twenty years old with faux woodgrain paneling and twist dials instead of digital- but it works well and that's all that matters, happy to have it. It shows how much better some products used to be made, versus the planned obsolescence that is sold nowadays. And it actually fits in with the retro contemporary style of our home.

This started out as a simple graphite drawing and then I decided that I wanted to use watercolor to show how the young gull was not quite past losing his baby brown speckled feathers in exchange for the adult gray and white coloring. I looked up the molting cycle of the Herring Gull and it looks like this one is in his mid 2nd year where the brown spotted feathers eventually molt off and are replaced by the white and gray feathers. I'm not sure how to tell the male Herring Gull from the female, if anyone knows, please tell.


Claudia Marchand said...

Hi Lisa, Another beautiful sketch! I like the dramatic shadow and how you captured the strong sunlight. Just looking at it makes me think of summer and the beach. This is a very confident drawing— you are making very clear decisions about the image in your head before putting down your strokes. The stance of the gull embodies this confidence and the full sun gracefully hitting his back is captured by your use of strong lights and darks, and your exploratory marks with the watercolor. Exquisite!

Lisa B. said...

Thanks, Claudia! I think I'm finally zeroing in on a style that I can spend a lot of time with: a mix of graphite or colored pencil drawing with a fluid watercolor wash in places. It's the most expressive way I can get the materials to react in the way I intend about the subject matter.

Jeanne said...

Hi Lisa, You have not heard from me as I have been very ill and in the hospital.. I was not feeling well and went to see my Doctor, she did blood tests and called me about 7pm on Wed July 21st. She told me to go to the hospital as she believed I had a clot in my lung. I had one in 2006 and she thought I had another one. Well I had large blood clots in both my lungs. You can imagine how that feels. I was in the hospital for five days and now will be on Coumadin for the rest of my life, but I am happy to be alive. I am feeling pretty good but tire very easily. It will take to two to three months before my body absorbs the blood clots, but in the meantime the Coumadin will keep me free of more blood clots. I will continue to take it easy and not overdue. Sorry to have to tell you this on our blogs but you have been on my mind a lot. Take care and keep in touch. I love your latest drawing. Keep up the good work. Love, Jeanne

Lisa B. said...

Jeanne!! I'm so sorry you've been ill, but so glad you're going to be ok! Make sure you take things easy, I'll be sending good wishes for good health your way. Please let me and Claudia know how you are doing, you can email me at
Take care!