I've been asked a few times if I could show my progress on a painting so here goes. This first image shows my light sketch and the beginning of the painting. I've learned from experience that I should start on the important parts -- in this case the herons -- because if I'm not happy with the stars of the piece I will need to start again and I'd hate to throw away more work than I need to.
I pass this pond on my daily rounds. It's very close to a section of the rail trail that has a swamp with the most amazing array of birds, frogs, turtles, and snakes. And beavers. I usually see a single heron at the swamp without fail but one morning I saw this pair on the pond. I had never seen a pair before and certainly never on the pond which is also close to a somewhat well traveled road. It was early morning and still quiet and there they were, the happy couple. The people who own the pond have planted dozens of daffodils. The purple phlox is wild. It's everywhere, the rocks too. I added the dashing squirrels because I love to watch them flying through the trees.
This is a large painting for me, 12 x 18". It's watercolor and gouache. You can find it in my shop, together with prints of the image in various sizes: