Double-Crested Cormorant (#47): 100 Face Challenge

I saw this post from Donna at Bay Photos by Donna yesterday in my feed, and I knew right away I had to try and make artwork out of some of her fantastic images. Donna is a Maryland girl vacationing in Okeechobee, Florida, and she’s capturing some amazing birds inside her lens, and sharing them with all of us here at WordPress!


I was taken with this bird because it looks as though it’s getting ready to soar into the sky. It’s on the brink, hasn’t yet lifted off, and maybe that’s why this image grabbed hold of me hard.Β  So I’ve tried it now in Neocolor II water-soluble crayons (which is this image) and in Polychromos colored pencils.

I’ll post the colored pencil sketch tomorrow, and I’d like to get your thoughts as to which one is more appealing to you. I’m learning a lot about these Neocolor crayons, and I’m finding that they help me to quickly and without fuss or mess bring my feelings about a subject to the page. Til then, my friends! Peace.

51 thoughts on “Double-Crested Cormorant (#47): 100 Face Challenge

  1. Hi Laura, your colors are so vibrant. I like how you blend with water but also leave the sketch quality as well. Neo’s are a natural choice for bird portraits. Thanks for sharing your enthusiasm about the Neo’s, you have me hooked!
    In looking forward to your next drawing. Happy Sunday. 🌻😻

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Susan! I made a couple pictures also of her cow image, both abstracts also…..not sure if I should share them here or not. It’s very nice when they turn out. I was happy with this one – I’m often surprised at what happens with those Neos. It’s always fun. Not quite as unexpected as watercolor can be (for me, at least). Glad you enjoyed it!

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  2. You are an amazing gal, Laura! Such an artist wow wow WOW! It feels such an honor for you to express my photos with your artistic skills. I could tell I was making him a little nervous (darn shutter noise!); and you are right, he was preparing to take flight. I stopped my clicking, and gave him a moment, and he remained. I really do try to not disturb our feathered friends! πŸ™‚ And for sure, I cannot wait to see tomorrow’s colored rendition!! ❀

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    1. You humble me with your kindness, Donna, truly. Thank you. And thanks for the background on your photo. I am amazed at your many tight shots of birds in flight. I find them so amazing when they are soaring. And this one on the brink of flight….woo, I just couldn’t resist. I’m really glad you enjoyed it! Monday and Tuesday posts are scheduled, also from that same post of yours. I could not resist the cow. I’m not sure she would approve of my rendition, as these neos really make me want to go abstract. I’ll be very curious what you’ll think of that. The colored pencil version of this is pretty similar, although probably not as much of an impact. I’m really trying to push the bar a bit, be more expressive with my marks, push the colors beyond what is expected, just testing my wings a bit. Thanks again for sharing your gifts with us! πŸ’š

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      1. I am excited to see each one! πŸ™‚ πŸ’š I couldn’t help photographing the cows, I probably took two dozen, lol. It’s the same with my photos as you, I like to push the bar to action shots, I think they provide more personality and character for the bird than just a perfectly posed op. Although I am a sucker for those too! hee hee

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        1. They’re all great, but there’s nothing like a bird in flight. Majestic! I think what I love about this one is the “on the brink of liftoff” feeling. I just love it, Donna! Really glad you’re excited about the others. I’m always a little nervous why I draw or paint a photographer’s work that my interpretation might really be something that feels wrong to them. Art is so subjective though, so I guess it’s bound to happen. Thrilled you like this!

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  3. Oh Laura – how this beautiful work of art speaks to me. First I had to go look at your inspiration on Donna’s site. Gorgeous photos – loved the cows! πŸ™‚ Then, when I realized you’d done it in blue – I really fell madly in love with it. I love that you did that so freely. The blues speak peace to me. Seems the bird is looking up – a bit sadly – but hopeful and wishing for peace, but ready to take flight – to let go by looking up – and finding peace.

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    1. Thanks so much, Charlie! I’m so glad you enjoyed this. Really been enjoying semi-abstract bird and animal faces lately. The color is three shades of blue and they blend so wonderfully too. I can’t wait to see what you do with these! (They’re also available open stock …. Philippe won’t want me to say this lol. I’m a rule breaker hehe. Oh and I hope I spelled his name right – almost said P, as usual.) πŸ’œ

      Liked by 1 person

      1. you’re welcome! sometimes also the repros on WP can be slightly off too on occasion, though I don’t feel that was happening with the cormorant. once we start looking for something, we usually find it. You are doing so well with the looser, freer approach. Its allowing more expression and attitude come into the images.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, that’s an interesting suggestion. I wonder what would happen. I have been able to add the Polys to a neo painting to deepen the color, but I don’t think they would be able to be seen over the vibrance of the neos in terms of line and that. Might be good to experiment and see though!

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