Painting Demonstration 1
First, I paint the chickadee's underbelly with cobalt blue and quinacridone rust, mixed. Remember to always paint in the direction of the body shape and the feather direction.
Painting Demonstration 2
I rapidly sketch in the bird feeder and sunflower seeds. I don't want much detail here.
I splatter paint all over the page, making sure I splatter over the bird's head to dull the contrast there.
Hold off on this step if you don't have time for the sketch to dry.
Painting Demonstration 3
After the sketch has dried completely, I can start on the dark details.
I paint the details on the bird's head in several layers, beginning with a cobalt blue. I then build it up with ultramarine blue and quinacridone rust.
Artist TipsAlways keep your brush strokes in the same direction as the feathers.
Painting Demonstration 4
I use nickel azo yellow on the bird's body to give a warm glow. Be careful, it's very easy for this to turn green!
Painting Demonstration 5
I round the chickadee's head with several layers of feathers. I want ruffled edges against the cold.
My final step is to add a touch of white gouache to the chickadee's eye. This is more eye shine and contrast than is actually there. However, black feathers against a black eye really doesn't show up and it is that bright little eye that's the central focus of the sketch.
I love painting my backyard birds. I am thrilled at how many other people want to paint their backyard birds as well, so this is going to be a recurring theme for the next few months, at least. (Seriously, I could paint them forever!)
Next week, I'm mixing it up with a gorgeous path in the woods. The week after that will be the 2nd tufted titmouse bird sketch you all requested.
There is so much to paint! It's wonderful when you start in your own backyard!
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