I've just added this painting Raven Turning to my shop. This is a good opportunity to share about my process. In order to create all my paintings I start out with a question. 'What happens if I ..?" In this case I wanted to see what would happen if I varnished the raven to separate him from the background.
Whenever I paint crows or ravens I use some photo reference. I try to use my own photography, but, on some occasions, I use internet photos for reference, as I did in this case. I block out the shape on the canvas and then paint in the basic shape of the bird. I love the effect of the solid black shape against the background. Later I fill in the background using a blend of white, yellow ochre and cadmium yellow.
I almost always work wet into wet (meaning that I apply the paint all in one sitting (also known as alla prima) or over the course of a few days. Once the painting was complete I let it dry for about six month before applying a few coats of Gamvar which was developed by Gamblin for the National Gallery to help protect masterworks without yellowing. Find reproductions of this painting for sale in my shop. The original is also for sale contact me for details.