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The Valley, May 2014

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Painting Songbirds I think most artists go through periods of painting different subjects and even different styles and art mediums. It’s important to paint what captures your interest at the time, and as a practical matter, also to respond to what potential art clients are interested in. Back in the 1990s, I was painting mostly wildlife subjects, and while I’ve moved on to a ,ot of other things since then, I still enjoy doing those from time to time. Since spring “birding” season is upon us now, I’ve been working on a series of migratory

songbirds, mostly wood warblers. These beautiful little birds would look strange painted much larger than life-size, and I like to focus in on just the bird, so I’m mostly painting them on the same 8x10 inch canvas size, using alkyd oils. These are all species I’ve seen personally, but since I’ve rarely been able to get good photos, I look for a variety of photos as references for the bird and then draw from a number of them, changing the backgrounds and adjusting lighting to make the best painting. I’ve posted some videos showing the process on

my YouTube channel at https:// www.youtube.com/user/KarlEricLeitzelArt, if you’d like to watch a painting take form. I’ll also be planning at least one of my art workshops this year around painting wildlife in general or perhaps even birds specifically. By the time this issue comes out, I should have a nice selection available at the Green Drake Gallery in Millheim, or contact me personally at 814-422-8461 or karlericleitzel@ gmail.com. If you have the opportunity, try to go warbler watching this spring. The ideal time is early in the morning when they are most active, at a time when the tree leaves are just beginning April/May Special Show to come out but not yet too thick. This is usually in early May in central Pennsylvania. Even if Simon you don’t know Leach the different species yet by their songs (I only recognize a few that way), you can locate where Maggie the birds are by Wolszczan their singing and then try to get close enough for a look with New: Buy and sell your used binoculars. Woods edges musical instruments! Get in and young fortouch if you have something ests with plenty you’d like to sell. Email us at of understory shrubs and trees greendrakeart@gmail.com. tend to be the most productive. Local birding Spring Hours: Fri. 4-8 pm, Sat. 10-6, clubs often have and by chance (look for the OPEN flag) spring walks planned that you can join in to get 814-349-2486 • On the Web at greendrakeart.com started. a

A painting demonstration video by Karl on YouTube

Original Fine Art & Handmade Crafts Maggie Wolszczan & Simon Leach

Chestnut-sided Warbler, Oil on canvas board, 8x10 inches

Redstart, Oil on canvas board, 8x10 inches

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May 2014 the valley new online  
May 2014 the valley new online  

The Valley is a FREE monthly newspaper serving Mifflin and surrounding counties in central Pennsylvania.

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