While looking for places to paint in Marina Del Rey, I captured a shot of this little guy. With the help of Google, it didn’t take long to figure out that he’s called a Western Grebe. (Fun little fact: according to Wikipedia, “It has a spectacular courtship display; two birds will rear up and patter across the water’s surface.”) I decided to start with a thin layer of burnt sienna over the whole canvas to see how I would like it. I usually start with just the subject matter in burnt sienna, but this is only a 6×8 inch canvas panel so less risk involved if it didn’t work. I like the orange peeking through, but I’m not sure I like that much of it. It’s very much an impulse to want to paint out the orange. We shall see how well I overcome that impulse. In the meantime, you can take a look at the paintings I did en plein air in Marina del Rey. One was at Burton Chace Park and the other at Mother’s Beach. The ocean and boats are a favorite to paint, so if you have a favorite spot along the southern California coast you think would make a great a painting, let me know in the comments below!