I just finished my latest painting of a plum headed parakeet. I just love these birds for their vibrant color and charming personalities. To prepare for this particular piece, I bought a tube of magenta by Windsor and Newton to add to my paint collection, which really allowed me to get some bright color for that beautiful head. And I could justify a shopping trip to the art store…yay!!! I am trying to pull back some on the detailing and allow for abstract creation, and this piece was definitely a journey in the right direction for me. Watercolor is so beautiful when it is just allowed to flow and blend and do what it does, so hopefully being a little less “demanding” of it will lead to more intriguing effects.
The hands down most suggested bird was a Flamingo for today’s doodlewash and entry into Draw A Bird Day (hosted this month by Kerfe and Nina at Method Two Madness on behalf of Laura at Create Art Everyday). I decided to try this one fast and loose and limit the palette to just three main colors. I also had precious little time to paint today, so this was really my only option.
Flamingos have rather tiny eyes, so getting an expression was a bit tough. I prefer things with larger eyes, but it was fun to play with brighter colors. Had I more time, this one would be standing in water, but I purposely cropped that bit and just focused on the bird instead. Flamingo comes from the Spanish word flamenco, “with the colour of flame”, or colloquially just meaning “cocky” which I guess you can be when you are…
I recently completed my kestrel painting and got lots more experience playing around with techniques. I am still trying to get larger spatters around my subjects and recently read that you can squeeze paint from a larger paintbrush to achieve that effect. Will have to try that on my next piece! In the meantime, I hope you all see something you like in this tiny bird of prey and venture out to get creative on your own!
Here is my newly completed work “Chopper”. He is a North American Pileated Woodpecker, and it was fun hanging out with him as he took shape. I am really trying to find a balance between being detailed and adding some splashes, spills, and splatters to create a dynamic. I think the balance in this piece is a bit closer to where I want to be.
I just finished “Archimedes”, my little Saw Whet owl. While painting this I tried to start incorporating some much looser strokes, and I spent a lot of time flicking the brush around the edges to create atmosphere and dynamics. Even at rest, I wanted this guy to have some energy!