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.
A few more Bluebird paintings and photos to share with you today.
Happy Sunday! 🙂
Bluebird watercolor 7×10 inch
Playing around with a splashy background and bright colors. I added some white highlights with a gel pen once the painting was dry. I like how that worked out.
Well, hello there! I love that sweet little face.
I was lucky to get a few more Bluebird photos in the backyard.
I noticed a few Bluebirds out back and I quickly grabbed my camera. I quietly stepped outside and snapped a few shots. There were a few males perched on the fence trying to impress a nearby female. I’m not sure how that worked out for the guys, but they certainly won me over with those bright blue feathers. ❤
This Bluebird was inspired by my photo above. I’m very happy with the bright blue I was able to achieve for the feathers. It’s not the same as in the photo, but that’s ok by me.
I hope you enjoy seeing my work and are inspired to create art and do something you love. Thank you for stopping by and following me on this creative journey.
This little beauty visits the feeder often. I was pretty excited when he dropped by and I was able to snap a few photos of him.
I love those big eyes! It looks like he is checking out what’s for dinner.
I was inspired to paint my little backyard friend. I decided to keep things simple and just paint him perched on a branch. I added a fun splashy background to finish up the painting. I may have had a little too much fun with that background but oh well… 😉
Paper: 7×10 inch Arches watercolor block
Daniel Smith watercolor paint:
Cobalt blue, Ultramarine Blue, Quinacridone Burnt Orange, and Yellow Ochre
Additional details added with a .005 black micron pen and a white gel pen.
In this photo, it looks like he approves and will take his food to go. 🙂
Another happy fella at the backyard feeder.
Over time the tip of your brushes and pens can wear down. Be sure to replace those that have become worn.
I still get a little uptight when a few paintings in a row don’t work out as planned. I’ve found the best thing for me is to hang in there, loosen up, and keep on going. The important thing to remember is to enjoy the process and have fun.
Thank you for stopping by and following along. I hope you enjoy seeing my work and are inspired to create art and do something fun. Until next time, have a great week.
A frequent visitor to my backyard is the sweet Nuthatch. This cute little bird is always fun to watch balancing on the feeder or creeping around on a tree trunk in search of food.
This guy was pretty vocal. I just love this pic. ❤
This fella was on a mission bouncing around on a tree trunk. 🙂
I decided to combine both of my photos for this painting and tried to capture the cute expression of the sweet Nuthatch in the first photo.
I started off with a light pencil sketch and then added a little detail with a black Micron pen. I continued with watercolor building up color and adding definition to my bird and branch. At this point, I was quite happy and thought I was finished.
Later I took a few photos of my painting and it became quite clear that it really needed more color. I decided to go for it and really punch up the blues.
Ahh.. that’s better. 🙂 That color boost really made a difference.
Viewing a photo of your work can help you see where you need to add additional detail or more color.
I hope you enjoy seeing my art and my backyard friends. Thank you for stopping by and following along. Until next time, have a great week and do something you love!
This little bluebird stopped by for a visit recently. Luckily I had my new camera in hand when this little guy arrived. I did my best to contain my excitement long enough to snap a few pics of him. 🙂
I thought it would be fun to try painting my bluebird. I started with a light pencil sketch first, and then moved on to the eye and beak making sure to get the placement and details correct.
While working on the feathers, I like to dampen a small area of the paper with a little clean water. Then I drop in a little paint and let the colors move and mingle. A gentle touch with a small brush seems to work well for painting the feathers on a small bird like this one.
I decided to try something a little different for the background and create a frame of color around my bird. It has taken a lot of painting for me to get comfortable trying different backgrounds. There are still times when I have to push worry out of the way and just go for it.
Tip – how to flatten your watercolor painting if the paper curls up or has buckled
After you have finished your painting and it is completely dry, you can flatten it by lightly wetting the back side of the paper with clean water and then setting a heavy book or two on top of it until it dries completely.
I hope you enjoy seeing my work and are inspired to create art and do something you love. Thank you for stopping by and following along. Until next time, have a great week! 🙂 ❤