At the outset of every painting, I always feel two emotions: excitement and fear. I feel excited about the subject AND fearful about whether I will be able to pull it off. If there is no challenge, boredom will set in and only slapdash work will come out of the painting session. Yes, I live on the edge.
When I went to paint at Wide Water along the C & O Canal a week ago, I took a walk to walk off numbness in the toes. It was a bit chilly, yes; but, oh boy, it was gorgeous. There were several mallard ducks and lots of Canada geese in the water, fishing and sunbathing. I took many pictures. Yesterday, I decided to make something of the above picture, with a bit of both feelings I just mentioned.
I cropped the photo to focus on the ducks and warmed up the palette. Wobbly reflections of trees and their brilliant leaves fill up the entire painting, but without the two birds, it won't make any sense. It would have been nicer if one of the ducks had been a female, but I didn't want to invent their colors. Just to be on the safe side.