A bird and a boat

I’ve had a lot of fun lately trying to paint living motives like people or animals. Both elephants, flamingos, woman and children have been brought to life, with varying luck. There’s one more motive I’ve really been keen to try out, though; A bird.

I’ve been wanting to paint a big bird, like an eagle or a falcon, but today I went with a small one. I’ve been seeking some inspiration on google, and found a real pretty one with a big orange breast. I don’t know what kind of bird it is, but I assume it is a redbreast.

So, a while ago, with no plan actually, I filled up a small canvases with a mix of emerald green, titanium white, sap green and some ivory black. Just rubbing it all in with my fingers. It had been drying up for some weeks when i picked it up again today, so it was really nice to get going on.

To start out I made the outline of the bird using a mix of raw umber, titanium white, ivory black and ultramarine blue. I made out the head, body and legs first, and then did the next coating of feathers using ultramarine blue, titanium white and a dash of ivory black.

For the breast I used titanium white, yellow ochre and burnt sienna, making out different areas with different mixes of colours, before blending it up using small strokes with a small round brush.

The legs are a mix of ivory black, raw umber and titanium white, and the tree trunk beneath likewise.

After finishing it all up, and putting in a lot of meaningless detail work at the end (which made no real contribute at all), it was time to end. This is how it looked:

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Another pre-painted canvas I had lying around, was made out with a mix of turquoise blue and titanium white.

I figured that looked a lot like water, so I decided to end the session by painting a moored dinghy. I tried to focus on the reflections in the water, and to make out the dinghy in a correct angle. I guess it looked ok, but I have a way to go making it all look completely right. The buoy does not look good, for example. Just flat.

This is how it looked:

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First attempt at watercolours

I’ve found that painting with oils, or water soluble oil paint as I usually do, take a certain amount of time.

Both when it comes to picking it all up, organizing it, making out the right palette, and to finish it up, rinsing out the brushes and cleaning up the additional supplies.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s loads of fun painting with oils. But sometimes I find that when I have just an hour or two to spare in an afternoon or evening, it can feel like a circumstantial process to get going with the oils.

So, to make use of all these single hours, I decided to go visit the store and buy me some watercolour supplies.

The thought is to use watercolour both in paintings and sketches, picking it up when I have an hour or two to spear where I would normally be reticent to start up an oil painting session.

I’ve seen a few tutorials on Youtube before starting up. I specially like the nice, calm voice of Shibasaki, even though I don’t understand a word he is saying. You kind of get the point by watching him doing it, though.

Anyway, I did a few attempts to get to know the medium, and ended up painting my first three watercolour paintings ever. This is how they looked: