“Wing Dancing” Painting Finished!

Details are complete, the painting is finished.  “Wing Dancing” 48″ x 60″ acrylic on canvas in pointillism showing Sandhill Cranes in the courtship dance.  It was fun and satisfying to paint something large, and took approximately nine weeks to complete. More bird paintings can be found on my website; wildlife. Gail Niebrugge, wildlife artist

Wing Dancing Painting Stage #13

Another day of painting and I’m still concentrating on the background around the cranes, whenever I think I’m ready to paint details on the birds I am distracted by the negative space around them.  Above is a close up showing the many dots and colors in the foreground grasses. I think the upper third of […]

Wing Dancing Painting Stage #12

At this point unless you can study each stage carefully and compare, the changes I’m making are subtle and may not be obvious.  I’ve added a lot of lighter colored grasses to the foreground, and began to darken the top third of the background in the left and right corners.  I’ve also blended the grasses […]

Wing Dancing Painting Stage #11

I’m working on refining all aspects of the painting, a little here, a little there, more variation of values in the grass and darkening the colors in the background behind the birds.  Next, I began work on the Sandhill crane wings, defining shapes and adding a some blur to the feathers at the wing tips.  […]

Wing Dancing Painting Stage #10

A close up detail of pointillism painted on the foreground grasses.  You can see many, many layers of color at this stage.  I’m concentrating on making the foreground beautiful close-up as well as from the distance.  A large variety of values and hues have been added as dots to form the grass. The above photo […]

Wing Dancing Painting Stage #9

Adding many more dots to the grasses I’m continuing to darken the middle ground (the background in the center third of the canvas) and darken contrasting areas in the foreground weeds.  I’m doing exactly what I didn’t want to do, and re-painting all the grasses.  I didn’t like the first version.  I’ve also added a […]

Wing Dancing Painting Stage #8

To give some contrast to the light color of the birds necks I darkened the yellow grasses in the distance and added a great many pale blue, bluegreen, and blue violet dots to the middle of the canvas.  For the moment, this seems to work better.   I also brought back some of the darker accents […]

Wing Dancing Painting Stage #7

I’ve added some detail and rhythm to the lower grasses and lighter toned dots to the Sandhill cranes.  I’m not satisfied with the pale background behind the light tan cranes in the middle one third of the canvas.  I’m going to find a value and color of acrylic paint that will convey my idea and […]

Wing Dancing Painting Stage #6

To help establish the values of the bird shapes in relation to the background I began  to paint the middle tones with dots.  My goal was to have a very bland tan and gold background with camouflaged tan Sandhill Cranes, and I will continue working toward this objective.  But, if it doesn’t please me I […]

Wing Dancing Painting Stage #5

I am attempting to lighten the upper two-thirds of the background with dots leaving very little underpainting showing through.  The sheer size of this canvas, 48″ x 60″, is making my progress very slow.  So far nothing but the dark areas of the Sandhill cranes have been painted, the rest of the birds are white […]

Wing Dancing Painting Stage #4

More dots are added to the grasses on the lower portion of the dancing Sandhill crane canvas.  This painting will receive many layers of dots until I am able to determine if the values and color will work the way I have planned.  I can’t evaluate anything yet. Gail Niebrugge, Alaska painter

Begin Pointillism on “Wing Dancing” Painting

I slowly and carefully begin to apply the fist layer of small acrylic dots on top of the wild, abstract underpainting of Sandhill Cranes I’ve titled “Wing Dancing”.  My thought at this point is to create a rather neutral, bland, tan and gold background surrounding the camouflaged tan birds with only hints of the colorful […]

Loose Acrylic Underpainting as a Base for Pointillism

The underpainting is nearly finished.  I will add some darks and lights to the shapes of the dancing cranes then the slow, painstaking process of pointillism will begin.  I will update the progress of this work as time permits, in the meanwhile my life will continue with shows, outdoor activity, vacationing guests, gardening, proposals, meetings, […]

Underpainting the Canvas before Pointillism

After enlarging the thumbnail sketch of Sandhill Cranes onto a 48″ x 60″ canvas I begin to quickly slap colorful acrylic paint on to the heavy fabric with big, wide brushes.  This wild, abstract application of brilliant hues and tints will serve as an underpainting and base for the thousands of small acrylic dots to […]

Selecting the Best Composition for a Painting

After creating many, many designs I selected the composition of dancing Sandhill Cranes on the lower right.  It has good motion, dynamics, overlapping images, and shows a more common relationship where some cranes dance and others watch.  I reduced this sketch 50%, darkened the room and projected the image onto a 48″ x 60″ stretched […]

Exploring Composition for a Painting

To create a composition that will adapt to the 48″ x 60″ canvas I used a Proportional Scale to calculate a reduction that would fit my tracing paper.  My Sandhill Crane tracings were various sizes, some too large and others too small to realistically portray the birds at the same distance, so I used the […]

New Painting of Sandhill Cranes

I decided to embark on a monumental project, one that will take most of the summer or longer, and I will share my progress with you on this Blog as it evolves.  My giant venture is to create a 48″ x 60″ pointillism painting of Sandhill Cranes.  During the spring bird migration I spent a […]

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