Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Finished? Or not.

Once the reflection was resolved (or so I thought), it was time to address the duck. This was all pretty straightforward and didn't take long, since very little carving was required to free Mr. Goldeneye from any entanglements with with rest of the image.

First some light purple in his head for a few highlights. Male goldeneye are black and white, but their feathers have an iridescent quality in the light.

The reflection of the duck in the water needs to be slightly off-color and value from the actual critter, so I tackled that with a brownish color.

A little bit more carving, and then the black.

Here's a close-up of the duck.

But there's a dilemma. Now that the duck is finished, the piece just doesn't seem to have the WOW factor that I saw in my head. It's a nice print, but does it make you go "ooooooh"?

My initial idea was to celebrate the abstract quality of the water reflection. The on-the-fly decision to add the woodgrain was exciting, but I don't know if it confused the concept.

The good news is that both blocks are still largely intact. I could potentially put one more darkish color in the reflection and see if that brings little more oomph to the image. I think there are 18 good prints to work with, so I could spare a couple as experiments.

I think it was Leonardo da Vinci who said "Art is never finished, only abandoned." For now I'll just sit with this piece for a couple of days and see if satisfaction grows.

In the meantime... yeah. I started another one.

Embiggenable version, if you'd like to contemplate solutions with me.
Or maybe you like it just the way it is....


  1. WOW, Sherrie--you've done it again! This one ranks right up there with your award-winning "Ripples" (hope I got the title right). Your mastery of the medium constantly amazes me--BRAVO!

  2. It got a big ooooooohhhhhh here just as it is :o)

  3. Its difficult, if you darken the reflection too much you might loose the feeling of depth and recession.
    I would be more than happy to leave it as it is. What can I say...its a superb print.

  4. my first thought was wow!
    but if you are not happy with it, and have a few prints to experiment on, you have nothing to lose by darkening things :)

  5. Sherrie,
    It may not be a Wow but a Wa. (Japanese=beautiful)

    In really looking at this print, the dark duck butt and head are a tad flat compared to the incredible depth of his reflection and all the rest of the water.

    Any way to give those small areas more oomph?

    I love how the composition reads opposite to how we usually read: lower right to uppper left instead of upper left to lower right. Good luck.

  6. Well, you guys are wow, wa and fabu.. thank you.

    Patrick.. I like the idea of doing a little more with the duck.. maybe I can spot print a little highlight. I'll probably give it a try...