Eagle's FeetHi Artist Hearts,
I'm finally back to the drawing board after some much needed time necessary to update our Website SEO.  I thought I would include a second photo of the adult Eagle's feet which is closer to how they will appear in the painting when I get to that stage of the drawing.

It's a gorgeous winter's day here in Orillia with the clearest of dark blue skies. The sun is shinning with only a slight breeze.  A perfect cheery day to inspire any artist heart who longs to draw out those paintbrushes and enjoy being lost deep in thought and the love of painting. 

As you may recall one weakness of mine is wishing sometimes that I could bypass all the preliminary steps and jump directly into painting rich, lush color onto my art paper and begin the joyful experience of bringing to life a favorite subject or composition, especially if I have been working on an idea for a long period of time.  In those moments oh how I need discipline and patience to resist such a temptation. 

Although we desire to be spontaneous in our artwork and express our hearts freely on paper, don't make the mistake of bypassing all the important basic steps that need to go into creating a dynamic composition.  Some of that spontaneous adrenalin can be applied to your warm up exercises by painting in your art journal for example, or doing quick vignettes. Here's a page out of my own personal journal showing some of my warm up doodles: Instead of drawing with a pencil I just used my paintbrush, free hand. 
Jan's warm up painting examples
If you are like me, it is not my favourite way to paint.  I really prefer drawing out my composition first, however it does provide a good way to warm up my brushes and get my creative juices flowing as well as a time to test the specific color mixes I will need to start painting.

Now that 's not say there aren't talented artists who can paint spontaneously and dynamically, but remember they have done all their planning and homework long before they actually started laying down color. They just don't put down a drawing or suggestive outlines as most of us do.

In my early day I know what it is to ignore those all important planning steps for the sake of instant gratification. Unfortunately, that happy feeling only lasts for a few minutes until you run into your first roadblock and have to start all over again all because the foundations were NOT carefully put in place.  A hard lesson to learn, but one that is vital to creating an amazing painting as opposed to just an ok painting.  Excellence is a great goal to strive for in your artwork ethics.

So I need to continue studying my subject and plan the best way to make it the center of attention.  I need to plan where I want to place my highlights to draw the eye into and through the painting until the eye comes to rest on my subject.  I need to plan my colors and how I will mix combinations to get just the right blend or hue for the details that bring my Eagle family alive. And so on.

It reminds me that the same lessons apply when it comes to our spiritual life and being ready and prepared for serving the Lord with excellence, no matter how small or large the task.  We need to be in prayer and be sure to surrender our carefully structured plans to the Lord.   If we were planning on building a house we would have blue prints carefully drawn up and approved before starting to lay foundation or the first brick, would we not?

As someone said to me the other day, "use a pencil so God can erase the lines that are not needed."  Allow Him to guide and direct you, so His ultimate purposes will be fulfilled.  Then we will have the joy and satisfaction of knowing that we have done our best to please the Lord in everything.
Next post we hope to start considering the colors and brushes we intend on using for this complicated watercolor.  Until then, happy painting and planning.
Blessings, Jan.