Birds in watercolour… flame robin

The flame robin is one of our beautiful, colourful small birds in Tasmania. Although we do not get them in our garden, a friend, Natalia, in nearby Wilmot has resident, chubby, “robin red breasts”. Natalia, took the photo from which I have painted this robin in watercolour. I am lucky that she is so good at taking clear photos and has permitted me to use her image for reference. Still a little twigging to do on this work in progress, and the decision on whether to create a background (if I do I usually design my own, often incorporating our Australian eucalypts). What do you think?
No background emphasises the shapes of the negative spaces and offers no competition to the subject, so the viewer focuses solely on our little feathered friend.
Background gives a sense of place, can lead the eye on a journey and offers more interest in colour and design.

Watercolour, flame robin, a work in progress

Watercolour, flame robin, a work in progress

Birds in Watercolour

PloverEgret pairContinuing with my enjoyment of painting birds in watercolour, my latest two are a plover and egrets which inhabit the local estuaries and coastal river areas. The plover painting is overall more realistic although the background is not true to the original image. Instead it evolved from broad sweeps with a loaded hake brush on damp paper for the water area. The bird was first masked out so the strokes would flow through. The pebbles in the sand were built up by charging and dripping paint at various stages of wetness. A little palette knife scraping and drybrush added texture.
The foliage and grasses in the egret work were created through dribbling, spattering , blowing and charging the Winsor primaries plus Ultramarine. A rigger brush added free calligraphic marks after the work was dry.
These works continue a frequently recurring theme of mine of contrasting illustrative style painting with free expression…… left and right brained modes of working, or scientifically accurate versus creative happenings……. yin and yang.

Painting Blue Wrens in watercolour

Two of the  commission works which I have to get busy on are of Blue Wrens. Fortunately these delightful birds have been regular visitors to our garden in the past  months so I have photos. At Penguin Market this Sunday I will be working on one of the paintings. I expect I will use a combintion of tube watercolour, and Inktense and traditional watercolour pencils. Retaining some of the pencil marks is a great way to suggest feather texture. Penguin Market, Arnold St Penguin is on from 9 to 3,30 Sundays. This will be the last one for this year. Next is 8 January but due t cataract surgery I may miss that one. Sorry.