Thursday, April 24, 2014

Whooping Crane Art Tells the Migration Story

"A New Spring", below, depicts a Whooping Crane parent taking care of its chick. The world's Whooping Crane population reached a low of only 15 birds in 1941 and it took many years to discover the nesting grounds of the original wild population of Whooping Cranes.  The eastern reintroduction of Whooping Cranes is helping to insure the survival of this magnificent species.    
The Eastern Whooping Crane Partnership, made up of Federal, state and private organizations in the United States and Canada, began the project in 2001.  The goal of the reintroduction is to establish a self-sustaining wild migrating population in the eastern United States.
The images above show the progression of this painting, with the first image, showing the masking fluid applied to preserve the white paper, and washes of color that were poured and allowed to dry between pourings to achieve the background colors.
After applying the washes, I drew in more grass.
I always add some detail to my main subjects early in the painting to give my eyes a sense of how the finished colors will look and how the observer's eye will be drawn to the main subject.  In particular, I watch for the contrast in values, patterns of darks and lights.  Do they make the subject stand out?  Do they help the eye move through the painting?
The image above was sketched from a photo I took of a Whooping Crane parent caring for its chick at the International Crane Foundation in Baraboo, WI, in 2005.  I was fortunate enough to receive a call on the evening before this Whooping Crane chick hatched.  I drove to Wisconsin and spent the next six days observing the Whooping Crane parents taking care of their first chick.  You can see the images and read this story by clicking this link:  Whooping Crane Family.
Next:  The finished painting

To see all my posts on this Smithsonian National Zoo project visit:  Whooping Crane art
More about my involvement with the Whooping Crane reintroduction at:  Whooping Crane Migration from my companion blog, Vickie Henderson Art
More of my Whooping Crane art:  Whooping Crane Watercolor Gallery
Organizations that help Whooping Cranes:
Operation Migration
International Crane Foundation
Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership

2 comments:

  1. So beautiful. I'm so happy I found your blog. I'm fascinated with watercolor and am so enjoying going through your past and current posts!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Really appreciate the time and effort you have made to share this wonderful post.
    Thank you
    Carole

    ReplyDelete

Welcome! I am glad to hear your comments, questions and feedback! Vickie

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