We bought his book Hiroshige Birds and Flowers and I was very inspired by its 91 color plates. I decided to try and copy them into water color paintings which turned out to be much easier to decide than to do.
This first painting is of a Great Blue Heron fishing. Though Hiroshige never did this painting himself, it is in his style. I did three washes, one at the top for the sky, one at the bottom for the mud and one for the water line. Then I painted the bird and the cattails. I added some small fish for interest and because I am a fish fanatic. I was quite tempted to go at this painting with my India ink and draw all over it as I did with the little fish, but I resisted. Do you think I was correct in this decision and the painting is finished? Click to enlarge.
I’m not quite satisfied with it, but you know, the artist never is satisfied with their work. I think the composition is weak, it looks all pushed over to the right and will never frame well because of that. The heron is floating in the air and not grounded to anything. I could have done better painting his feet. I like how I painted the cattail heads and the washes and the bird’s neck. I would love to hear your comments on this painting.