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My second painting was a kestrel.

SOUL OF THE OZARKS | The Second Painting

Honestly, while I was delighted that my handmade watercolors worked alright for my first try, I wasn’t real pleased with the painting itself. So I decided to try a second painting.

This is the story of my journey into the world of being a watercolor painter. My angle on this is a bit different than most other artists, in that all of my paints are made from pigments I’ve gathered myself. I call these paints ‘Paleo Paints’. By working with the rocks, bones, and pigments of my surroundings, I feel as if I am working with the soul of the Ozarks.

Previous Entries for this Series of Posts:
* First Painting
* Second Painting

The Second Painting

I was still in Qatar. It was July 2018, and the daytime temperatures outside were so hot I didn’t want to go out to do anything anyway. When Rob came home from work in the evenings we’d often go out for supper, but during the day I’d paint. This time, I tried a bird.

Since I was in a land where falconry is huge, I thought I should try a falcon. So I decided to start with kestrels. Still not too good, but a lot better than my buildings were, lol. At the time, I thought it was spectacular, and I was very excited. I’m keep this one framed and in my studio for inspiration to keep practicing.

Drawing & Sketching Influences on my Technique

All I had ever done before these first two tries was drawing in colored pencils. A few decades ago, I had also dabbled in pastels. You can see from the way I painted the bird that my technique was a lot like drawing. I used tiny amounts of color and a tremendous amount of strokes on dry paper to put the colors down.

My second painting of a kestrel - closeup showing the 'sketching-like' technique I used when I first started painting.

I would later learn this isn’t ‘proper’ watercolor technique. I will eventually loosen up a bit, but it’s going to influence my style forever, most likely. Besides, I’m not real concerned with what’s ‘proper’, anyway. I just want to have what I envision in my head reflected in what I see on the paper.

Oh, and I didn’t have a black paint with me. So I used pencil and colored pencil for the black, because I did have those on hand to use in case the pigments didn’t work out. I wanted a black color, though, so we went to the mall one afternoon and I got some charcoal for incense burners. I think I crushed it and combined it with some of the black-eyed susan gray that I had. But this is an example of one of the details I’ve forgotten. So I’m not sure. But I know I made some black with the charcoal somehow. It wasn’t very good though. I’d need to learn how to make a better one when I got back home.

Madison Woods is an artist and paintmaker from Kingston, Arkansas.
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Author/Artist Info
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In the summer of 2018 I began making watercolor paints from the rocks, clay, and other resources of our land here in the Ozarks. My artwork is made exclusively with these paints. I call them Wild Ozark Paleo Paints, because they’re made in a way very close to the same way paints were made when man first put a hand-print on the wall of a cave. My specialty is painting nature, specifically the nature that surrounds me here in the remote hills of northwest Arkansas.

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Madison Woods
@wildozark (Instagram and FB)
[email protected]

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janet
janet
21 November 2020 1:31 pm

I’m enjoying the retrospective, Madison. 😘

janet

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