Sunday, October 4, 2009

Western Ravens

For over a decade, I've been fascinated by the entire corvid family of birds and the high intelligence they display. Ravens have an extra appeal because of their size, and I've enjoyed Native American tales about the crafty bird. We saw ravens throughout our travels out west, and I sketched out the idea for this piece on our trip back from Montana. I used a cradle board frame that has a surface prepared for sketching. I applied sections of primed canvas to that surface so I'd start out with a layered look to the piece and get the canvas texture coming through my laser prints; I painted the canvas sky blue. I ran the "ink outlines" filter on the raven photos in Photoshop, then tore them out and applied to the canvas with matte medium. I tore sections of a topo map of Yellowstone to make a unified "rocky" surface for them to perch on and layered up pieces of sky color and filmy cloud areas. I used two colors of tissue paper to make the raven shadows on the ground. I'm pretty excited about this 8" x 24" piece! (If you click on the photo, you'll enlarge the piece and can see the details better.)