I snapped a cute photo of a female Cardinal on my backyard feeder. I thought it would be fun to paint this lovely bird and share my watercolor process with you.
My painting inspiration and backyard capture… a lovely Cardinal ❤
I started thinking about the colors I would need for this painting while viewing the photo on my laptop. Below is a little test sheet with notes on the colors mixed and used.
Color mixing notes (Daniel Smith watercolors)
Orange: Quinacridone Rose and Hansa Yellow light
Brown: Yellow Ochre and Payne’s Gray
Red: Deep Scarlet and Payne’s Gray
Purple: Ultramarine Blue, Quinacridone Rose, and Payne’s Gray
The initial sketch and first light wash
With the first wash I put down enough color to define the overall shape and create a nice base to build on.
I just love her gorgeous feather tiara. 🙂 She looks like the queen of the backyard.
The second wash starts to bring things to life as I build up color and add some darker values. As you can see, there is still more work that needs to be done.
The third wash builds up even more color and includes the addition of a background. I thought it was finished at this point. But after the painting dried I decided it needed a few more small details. I used a black micron pen with a very small tip (.005) and a white gel pen for the additional details.
I also brightened up the green a bit in the background before calling this one done.
- Test out your colors on scrap paper first and write down notes on color mixing.
- When sketching on watercolor paper, be careful to use a light touch. I recently used some new paper and found that it easily became bruised from my pencil markings. I realized the problem only after I started painting…..lesson learned and a good reminder going forward.
I hope you enjoyed seeing my watercolor process and are inspired to create art.
Thank you for stopping by and following along. Until next time, share a smile and do something you love.