Saturday, April 7, 2012

A Normal Bird (without teeth)

Blue Bird in a Green Hat. Watercolor, brush and ink, 4" x 6".

Springtime always makes me long for my watercolors.
But I've been occupied with a large acrylic commission, now complete. So we took a short vacation--a totally non-art, non-technology vacation. 
Hence, this watercolor is an older one.  But the process was simple, and if you are interested, the technique follows:

I drew it in pencil on 300 lb. Arches watercolor paper, then went over it using a small brush loaded with india ink. After drying it with a hot hair dryer to make sure the ink was set, I mixed up two strong washes; one of burnt sienna, and one of cerulean. (I like Winsor & Newton watercolors best.)

The paper was then selectively wet (the wood frame and the surrounding area of the bird). Then I flowed the burnt sienna wash into those areas. When it was still damp but not glistening, the cerulean was worked into the frame and the bird's body.

After letting those initial washes dry, the thicker, richer color was painted on in ever darker layers.  Shading was added and subsequently blended. The final touches were the lifting of the highlights on the bird with brush and clear water, and the addition of white gouache highlights on the eye and jewels.
If that isn't enough info, feel free to email me with questions.

Watercolor should be simple, fun, and relaxing--a great fit for springtime.


  1. Awesome bird!! :)


    1. Thank you very much, Kat--glad you like this :)


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