Wood Duck Drake, 20" x 24" Oil on Canvas

With the exception of a recent mallard painting, it's been a while since I've painted waterfowl. I decided to get back in the saddle with the drake wood duck taking flight. I reworked the composition a couple of times to get it right before sketching it on canvas, and I'm glad I did. The play of light and the composition of the logs in the water help to give structure to the painting as the drake explodes off the water and over the top of them. But ultimately, wood ducks are such an incredible species that all you have to do is paint them accurately and their natural aesthetic is going to make the painting look good. Plus they live in some of the coolest, most interesting habitat: moss-covered logs, secluded pools in hardwood creek bottoms, and tucked-away beaver ponds. All are interesting places to find and paint them.

I also created a short video from the initial stages of this painting, which was a new twist to the way I work. Most of the time I tune the world out, but I wanted to share the creative process, so I documented it as I went along. I hope you enjoy the video and be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel to stay current on future videos.