Hi All Artist Hearts,
The final sketch of "Family Affair" has finally been transferred onto my art paper (140 Lb. Hot Press Arches)
soaked in a water bath for about 3 or 4 minutes and mounted onto my art board (lightweight Gator Board).  It is drying as I write.  This is always an exciting stage, knowing that I am all that much closer to laying paint to my paper!  But, before I do that, I just wanted to share a couple of extra steps that I did before I could say that my composition was completed.

There were a lot of details that I needed to check and double check that I had been careful to include into my drawing to ensure my painting would be authentic and realistic.  In fact, by including these extra few observations it could well make the difference from just an ok painting to a more dynamic and emotionally satisfying painting.

Tree texture photoSomething as simple as the texture and characteristic layers and bark scales of the trees that these Bald Eagles chose to build their nest in needed to be included into the drawing.  Those 'scales' also tell part of the story.  They are also affected by the sunlight and therefore produced shadows that bring to life the textured limbs common to these evergreen trees.

I also needed to observe carefully and take extra care in describing the tips of all the feathers including the white feathers on the Eagles head. They created many shadows, tones and shapes throughout the wing and needed to be described. 

Once I had included these details into my sketch it took on a more convincing three dimensional dynamic and read as real.  So don't forget to always be observant and include the things that really tell your story and therefore describes your subject in a way that communicates its unique life more effectively to your viewers, drawing them into your painting.

I can hardly wait to start mixing my pigments and make the first decisions as to what color and where that color should be painted in first.  Join me in the next few days when I will post the first segment of color.  It's not something that can be rushed, so please be patient.
Until then, keep your brushes flying.