Artist's description:

In an earlier blog I wrote about having witnessed a mating dance between two Great Blue Herons. Being relatively new to birding we had never seen anything like it before. It became obvious that they were involved in a courtship, dancing around each other with their heads held high, pointing to the sky. Their plumage was all fluffed up to attract the other heron.

This painting represents that moment when the two birds find each other after spending most of the year alone. It’s springtime and maybe each other's last chance for romance before summer comes.

The painting took quite awhile to develop because I was searching for the right tones. I wanted to develop a richness to the water around the heads of the two birds, so that they would pop like they do in nature. The strong light on the birds bounces off the whites on the neck and feathers, accentuating the many curves that create the elegance of the moment.

I somewhat limited my palette, using mostly golds, blues, and greens. The golds and blues in the water seemed to work really well with the coloring of the herons.

I’m so glad I painted this scene, as it is one of the special moments that Jen and I have seen while birding. I hope you enjoy seeing the finished painting and get a sense of the magic of the moment.

Materials used:

oil paint

The Dance (2014)


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