Great Blue Heron watercolor

This week I worked on painting a Great Blue Heron. I decided to work in my Stillman & Birn mixed media sketchbook that I recently received as a gift. It was a great choice, the quality of the paper in this sketchbook is excellent. I can see more of these sketchbooks in my future. 🙂

My initial sketch is below.  Nice big shapes first, and then more detail with ink. Early on, it is important to get the position and shape of the eye correct. Then it is just a matter of working out from there with more detail.

Great Blue Heron sketch
Great Blue Heron sketch

Below is the second phase after adding watercolor. This is when it really starts to come alive.

Daniel Smith watercolors:
Payne’s Gray, Phthalo Blue, Quinacridone Rose, Yellow Ochre, and Hansa Yellow

Great Blue Heron - part 1
Great Blue Heron – part 1

I debated whether to add a background color or not. After looking at a photo of my painting, I realized that I needed to punch up some of the colors. I also thought that a background would give this painting more interest.

It was a good choice to add more color, it made a big difference!

Great Blue Heron
Great Blue Heron

Background colors:  Permanent Green, Green Gold, and Phthalo Blue

For the background I used a mix of Permanent Green and Green Gold. I splashed some Phthalo Blue and Permanent Green on the wet background by tapping on the handle of a brush loaded with paint. I like how the little drops of paint vary in size and spread out and in different shapes depending on how wet the paint is where they land.

I hope I have inspired you to create some art and do something fun. Thanks for stopping by and following along.  Have a great week.

Happy Painting!

Patty Anne



%d bloggers like this: