Sunday, 24 May 2015

#637 In the studio: Green Heron

Compared to most herons, the Green Heron is small, dark, short and stocky with short legs, broad wings, 
long bill, and thick neck.   The crow-sized bird is sometimes call the Green-backed Heron.

Below, is John James Audubon's (1785 - 1851) lithograph of the Green Heron.

The Green Heron is typically concealed in vegetation and is hard to see because its coloration appears dark.
The little heron is solitary and secretive and lives around small bodies of water or densely vegetated areas.  
Seeing them is tricky and I've seen the bird only a few times in the wild and always along shallow marsh edges.

Below, are drawings created during a rare encounter with a Green Heron while in the South Carolina Low Country.

The Green Heron's neck is often pulled up against the body when at ease . . .  but when feeding, 
the bird thrusts its neck forward and the long, dagger-like bill strikes swiftly to catch prey.

Below, is a clay model of a recent sculpture of the Green Heron.  I chose a pose that depicts the bird hunting and about
to plunge for its its prey.  The heron appears dark while hunting in the shadows, but is beautifully colored in the sun.

The sculpture was modeled with a dark brown Classic Clay which is a very fine product and one 
of several different types and brands of oil based plasteline clay I use.  Typically, if the wings are extended, 
I use Chavant's Le Beau Touche clay because it is sticky and will adhere to armature wire and aluminum foil better.
 Note:  It's difficult to photograph Classic Clay because of its dark pigment

Below, is the new sculpture, "Green Heron" cast in bronze.
The patina was achieved with liver of sulfur, cupric nitrate, and a trace of ferric nitrate.

Go to the BLOG INDEX on the right for more information.

Blog, text, photos, drawings, and sculpture . . . © Sandy Scott and Trish

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