Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Hooded Mergansers 6" x 12" acrylic

A trio of hooded mergansers swim on an unfrozen winter lake. I was taken by their striking plumage and the contrast the feathers created against the slate gray cold water. These ducks, which are the smallest of the three North American merganser species, feed by diving for small fish, frogs and mollusks.

This painting has been in progress for quite some time and I finally figured out how I wanted the finished painting to look. I had previously tried having some grasses and cattails coming out of the water in the foreground but it distracted the focus away from the ducks. Because hooded mergansers are common on wooded lakes, simple watery surroundings seemed appopriate. So, I enhanced the detail in the water and removed the cattails by painting washes over the entire image - a process that almost wiped out just about everything.

For more paintings in progress, you can visit my blog titled The Art of Peter Mathios as my recent post displays several others I am currently working on.
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