It is loosely based on a few stories I read in a book about the cultural history of NZ birds- the New Zealand eagle (which was the largest known bird of prey, with a wingspan of up to 2.4m) was written throughout Maori myth and legend as a dangerous bird that preyed upon humans, and was also seen as a bad omen. In this drawing I tried to imagine children re-enacting the myths of warriors who fought against these giant birds of prey.
Here is the colour palette I used:
hope you are all having a great weekend! Check back mid-week for another installment of NZ natural history artist- this weeks artist is Piers Hayman, an ornithological artist who did some really amazing work. Till next time! emma
I had fun playing with the colour palette on this one. I am trying to map out colour gamut’s (as outlined in James Gurney’s wonderful book ‘Color and Light‘), using a YRMBY colour wheel and then setting up a limited colour palette before I start work on a digitally coloured piece. It certainly will take some more practice but is turning out to be pretty fun to learn about- even if I’m not quite there yet!
I recommend the following tutorials if you are interested in finding out more (short of reading the book!):
This video is the best explanation from James Gurney himself.
As I’m trying to get more into watercolour painting (especially for the background of my poster)- I thought I would make up some colour palettes last night, following the wonderful exercises in Natural History Painting and Exotic Botanical Illustration– both by Meriel Thurstan and Rosie Martin. These colour mixing exercises are all based off a limited palette of one each cold and warm of all three primary colours. Its quite a useful exercise to do as it reveals the huge array of colours that can be made from just 6 tube colours. Besides that- don’t they just look pretty!?
I use Winsor and Newton Cotman watercolours and the 6 basic colours I used were: Lemon Yellow Hue (W&N 346), Cadmium Yellow Light Hue (W&N 119), Ultramarine Blue (W&N 660)/ Cobalt Blue Hue (W&N 179), Pthalo Blue Hue (W&N 327), Alizarin Crimson (W&N 003) and Cadmium Red Hue (W&N 095). I have to say after doing this exercise though- that neither of the blues I used were really very cool (Prussian Blue would have been better), and the warm yellow could have been warmer! But that’s just what I had at the time- so this colour mixing exercise has really been quite valuable in bringing that to light.
Colour mixing exercises, gradients from each of the primary colours, and a diluted version below each strip. Yellows and Reds, and Yellows and Blues
I also did the complementary colour chart- where you mix the first colour (equal parts of two of the primaries) and then do a gradient mixing to the third primary.
The last few rows are colour mixes with some other premixed tubes of I had on hand (Burnt Sienna, Raw Umber and Permanent Rose). Mixing the Burnt sienna with Alizarin crimson got exactly the bright shade of red colour that I had always wondered how to get!