Picture of the week 12.18.06

Wintering Oil on paper, 21" x 13"

I'd done a bunch of sketches of what I thought was one cardinal, but it's turned out there are
six of them wintering in my yard. If you want to call this wintering -- it was nearly
seventy degrees the past two days. Not complaining, mind you.

These two have developed a wonderfully pragmatic strategy for getting their daily bread: they wait
on the ground under the feeder, and catch whatever bird seed the squirrels drop. Normally, they feed
as couples, but the wives weren't there this time. I say "wives" because, as I found out while researching
them, cardinals mate for life -- which sounded impressive until further research revealed they have
a life expectancy of one year, in which case it doesn't seem like much of commitment at all, does it?

Look at this actual-size detail:

Appears as an almost-incoherent series of brushstrokes, doesn't it? But observe
the effect that occurs when we back off a bit:

See what happens? Yes -- now it appears as an almost-incoherent series of
smaller brushstrokes. Still, I like the looseness of this one, and I've decided to call it
finished at this point. Here's the whole megillah:

You can see a slightly larger version at the Still Wet page.

Check back next Monday. Oh, wait, check back Sunday, too -- let's do a
Christmas Eve picture as well. See you then.

Previously on Picture of the Week:
12.11.06: By Way of Apology
12.04.06: Rodney Hits the Floor
11.27.06: Gondola Car and Busy Ball
11.20.06: Sketch for The Remains
11.13.06: Work in Progress: Lawn Deer

11.06.06: Two Studies for VW

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