Around 1985 I spent a short period trying to improve my skill in watercolor painting (before life got in the way again!).   It was during this time that I painted this Canada Goose defending her eggs.

I remember being very pleased with this painting for two reason.

It was the first time that I can remember adding a great amount of detail to a subject to make it realistic.  I recall spending a lot of time on the Goose’s head, trying to capture the light on its beak and its eye, despite the fact that  it is very dark in color.canadian goose face  The beak is probably the first time I ‘lifted off’ paint  to create the illusion of light and depth.

The second memorable technique was painting most of the body in clear water, then dropping paint into the water to show shadow and feathers.  Thus the highlight area of its body had no paint at all, but the area near its legs, and its wings have a very wet-in-wet appearance.

canadian goose bodyAs some of you will recall, 1985 was well before most people had access to the Internet.  Thus it was much harder to learn a skill such as watercolor painting, and techniques like wet-in-wet painting and ‘lifting off’ color.

Do you remember struggling to learn to paint by yourself without the amazing resource of the internet?  Or, can you remember learning a new artistic technique and being very pleased with the results?  If so, do leave a comment.