Flamingoes at the Wild Animal Park (Keep those drawings on deck)

"Mingoes" 9 x 12 Pastel on Paper
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I always avoid the flamingoes-- they're noisy and they STINK! Of course, they're beautiful to look at. I managed to find a couple on their own, where the smell was a little less vile.

I've never been particularly interested in these birds, because their images are used so often in the cheesiest of venues: dive bars, a Vegas hotel, bad tourist shirts. These two, however, strutting quietly through the water and taking an occasional drink, provided a much more dignified representation of the bird. Their necks make the most graceful shapes. Really, they can be just as pretty as swans, once they're away from their noisy friends.

I originally did this picture on toothy pink Strathmore "art paper" with a china pencil. The paper was so textured, however, that it ate the china pencil and took away from the lights and darks of the image. I used this same brand of paper for "Everglades Afternoon," and I liked the way the soft pastel adhered to it... so, I took this drawing back out and gave it a layer of chalk.

I'm finding that on days when I'm pressed for time (or energy), it helps to have a drawing on deck, ready for color. That way I still feel like I got something accomplished without having to start from scratch. I highly recommend keeping a few pieces with the values already in place, ready for the finishing touches of color.


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