Nesting Herons

Watercolor.  This is my first venture into watercolors.  I learned a lot, mostly about what not to do.  The photo quality here is also so-so.  I got lazy and did not properly set up.  But anyways - this is based on a photo my father-in-law, Charles "Pappy" Corbeil, took in the Viera wetlands ("the sewer").  I adapted by eliminating some background clutter and by having the standing bird lean forward some, to enhance the composition.  

One hard thing about water colors is that its hard to pre-judge how dark the dried paint will be.  As a result I had to go over some areas multiple times and control of the edges gets sloppy.  Another is how colors mix, and whether they get muddy.  A third is the use of masking fluid - I should have applied it more carefully.  Oh well, its a start.  I intended going in that this would be a painting good enough to hang in the lobby of the building I work in, which is pretty drab now.  It might have to do - my intent is to focus now on smaller watercolors, of photos I took in my 6 acre yard of birds and plants - kind of like Audubon paintings.  I do have some really good photos and a real interest in documenting the native flora and fauna of the unusually diverse ecosystems that is our yard.