Wow!!! What an interesting demonstration, such detail in such a short space of time with such a nice man demonstrating.
David started by explaining that he was actually an water colourist really and had discovered this method of painting in great detail, which is his style, with acrylic paints which are either loved or hated by most people.
With a board of MDF which had been prepared with a square of bright blue colour applied to the centre then masked off from the remainder of the board, David had pre-drawn a pencil image. He had applied the gesso and then coloured centre with a small roller which gives a fine surface to work on which he needs to do such fine work. All in all he said he had applied 3 coats of the gesso but rubbed it down in between coats with fine sand paper.
Well down to the painting technique then, with white gesso he painted out the beak explaining that the beak will be bright orange in colour and this would not show as a bright enough colour painted straight onto the blue background. He also did this to the legs as they too were going to be a light colour.
Having done this he was off with a great start painting in diluted white, the feathers, working in the way that the feathers would lay on the bird. This technic should be applied to all animals he said be they fur or feather. He worked quickly all over the bird and then started to re-apply over the breast to start with and then covering the rest of the bird with individual feather type strokes. The first coat of paint dried very grey looking but by building up the layers over the bird, soon there was a real 3D appearance.
After tea break, in which David carried on adding bits to the bird, he then started to apply colour. The beak went yellow first as this is a better base for the orange colour needed at the end. The back feathers and wing, also head feathers all went blacker by using burnt umber and ultramarine paint and working in the same built up fashion. Highlights of pure white were added at the very end and the legs were just tinted and shaped with shadowing and then the water that he was standing in appeared in just a flick of the brush.
Report courtesy of Cathy Newton
Photos Courtesy of Cathy Newton and Vicky Coppard