Costume-reared juvenile Whooping Cranes, imprinted on ultralight aircraft and costumed pilots, learn their migration route by flying behind ultralight aircraft during their first fall migration. In the spring, they return on their own without human assistance. In this way, a separate migrating population of Whooping Cranes has been established in the east to help insure that no natural or human-made disaster can cause the loss of this species to the world. The hope is that the re-introduced Whooping Cranes will raise young and increase the eastern population.
I have not seen the exhibit in person, but, look forward to making that happen sometime this year. In the meantime, I'll show you how I approached the paintings for this project.
masking fluid or resist, a rubbery solution that resists the water and pigment. Above and below, I have painted mask on the cranes and the ultralight air craft.
In the next pouring I used blue to create an atmospheric haze over the tree tops. Water is sprayed over the paper first and lightly spread with a brush. The thin blue mixture is then poured over the paper and encouraged to move with the angle of the board to avoid puddling. I accomplished this while holding the board over the sink to insure that the pigment continues to move. Excess pigment was caught in a paper towel in the sink. And yes, with this size painting, this was a bit awkward. I did wish for a large utility sink!
A closer look at the colors. You can see some of the variation of greens, blues and purple that have been created by the layered colors. I let the paper dry completely and removed the mask with an eraser.
Links and resources:
More about layering
The Smithsonian National Zoo
To see more of my Whooping Crane art visit these links: Whooping Cranes in Watercolor, Whooping Crane Activity Book, and Whooping Cranes on gourd art.