That stick is it's legs. There's a photo a page back to look at for comparison. They are odd birds. Yeah, the back ground around the neck area needs more contrast.
Yeh, Denver doesn't DO art.... funny.
it really is very good.
My two pennyworth would be to agree with Portal about working from life
and also to consider the colours carefully. The colours on the heron are all very pretty - the further wing is a greyer deeper drabber colour in the photo/life.
Also I personally prefer pastels not smudged but laid down and left alone, using the side of the pastel for broader areas and the thin edges for finer marks. The colours and texture work even better that way.
A really really good book on colour is Jeanne Dobie, Making Color Sing, she talks about 'mouse' colours and their use to make a painting glow. I would really recommend it. She is talking about watercolours but the theories hold good for any medium.
Oh and i often underpaint loose washes of colour in watercolour or acrylic before starting in pastel - sometimes in a complementary colour that will just show through in tiny flecks and make the colour vibrate.
You have a good eye and good drawing skills and should definitely keep going
i hope this is helpful
Thanks Vivien - it is helpful! I guess if I wanted to try and not smudge the pastels, I'd have to do some underlayer wash. The two techniques together would be interesting. Next time...
Have you tried using colored pastel paper? You can get some terrific effects with the various shades it comes in.
Tom - I didn't know it existed until it was mentioned on this thread. I haven't done anymore art since I finished the heron. My budget just got a little tighter. But, when I go back to it, I'll be trying the colored pastel paper.