Grand Canyon raven watercolor

Raven in Watercolor by Judy Robinson
Raven in Watercolor

A watercolor portrait of a raven was created during my recent hiking and painting trip to the Grand Canyon.

As I took photos of a raven sitting on a fence rail, I talked to the bird, telling it I admired its glistening feathers.

I think its response indicated that it wasn’t interested in conversing unless I had food for it.

I did get several good photos before I moved on. I walked to the edge of the South Rim, set up my watercolors, and painted the raven, based on one of the photos I had taken.  I have always found ravens to be inspiring,  magical, and entertaining.

Descriptions of the raven in bird books often describe the bird as black. But the raven is more than black.

Close-up of Raven watercolors, art by Judy Robinson
Close-up of Raven watercolors, art by Judy Robinson

Raven glistens in the sunlight, picking up atmospheric colors. Depending on the turn of the head and the angle of a feather, ravens are magical purple and then pink-red and then green-blue.

I enjoy ravens because they are multi-faceted in color and multi-talented in ability.

At the Grand Canyon, they glide or dance in the wind.

Sometimes they extend their wings and coast on air currents. Sometimes they fly up, tuck in their wings, and plunge downward, spiraling into the canyon like a bullet. Sometimes two ravens perform a choreographed aerial ballet, becoming streaks of color in the sky.

They can be like little kids, calling to each other as they fly and dart – “Look at me” or “Try this, it’s great” or “Can you do this?”

As I painted the raven, I studied my paint palette to determine the colors for the glistening, color-changing raven. Violet pthalo and Amethyst Genuine worked well for some of the feathers. And mixtures of Ultramarine Blue, Alizaran Crimson and Cobalt Teal Blue.

Raven in somersaut formation
Raven in air somersaut formation

I mixed the colors and used my mop brush to paint, letting the watercolors run freely raven-style to do their thing – creating the raven’s image.

The playful Grand Canyon raven print is available in 5” x 7” and 8″ x 10″ with a white mat which allows the image to be framed in an 8″ x 10″ frame or 11” x 14” frame .

The Grand Canyon Raven can be a “grand” gift for the holiday season.