16.25"H x 24" W Colored Pencil and Water Soluble Wax Pastel on Ampersand Pastelbord. This piece has been named a Finalist in Animal/Wildlife category of the 2009 The Artist's Magazine, 26th Annual Competition. "In a Reflection Darkly" has also be selected for the 8th UK Coloured Pencil Society Annual Open Exhibition, RBSA Gallery, Birmingham, Great Britain.
Sometimes when I am out photographing wildlife for reference material, I take a shot or shots that I just know, right that moment, I am going to turn into some kind of painting. On one of our many trips to the Viera Wetlands, one of my favorite birding spots, I had one of those moments, shooting a glossy ibis with strong backlighting from a late afternoon sun. I have a thing for painting reflections, and this reflection occurs in rippled water. Painting a dark bird from the shadow side was actually the greater challenge, as it is difficult to render something dark, in shadow, and still have it give the appearance of having girth, or dimension.
I started work on this piece between Christmas and New Year's, 2008, while visiting friends in Houston. I completed quite a bit of the base painting while there, but for some reason, once I got home, my progress moved at a snail's pace. I would work on the piece a little here and there, adding more and more layers, using considerable amounts of InkTense and Neocolor II which I would smooth into the Pastelbord with water and a brush. Finally, in April 2009, I decided it was time to "git er done."
The final result has my trademark strong coloration, but it does have a a rather different look and feel to it. Late afternoon sun bouncing off water in South Florida has a particular look to it, and I think the painting does have something of that quality of bouncing light.
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