Tag Archives: bird lover

Romeo – a bluetit in oils

Meet Romeo, he’s one of a number of bluetits, long-tailed tits & great tits that visit the garden each day. I had already completed a charcoal sketch of him to see how he would look without really noticing the little bit of menace in his eyes. I don’t quite know how I managed to miss that. Anyway I certainly spotted it when I was painting him.

Bluetits have always been an issue for me when it comes to representing them in art. Whilst I love drawing probably above all else, the colour is quite an issue. Another recent bluetit I drew in charcoal I resisted the urge to put any colours in and that was a successful drawing, beautifully rendered with the charcoal as I knew it would. In the past however I have drawn them and then been tempted to add a little bit of colour. But which bit of colour? Do you go for the blue cap and ignore the yellow, or the darker blue / green of the wing? Then you end up with a coloured drawing rather than a drawing with a dash of colour. This time I went full out and painted him and I’m so glad that I did. The blue and yellow of bluetits are the most peaceful, calm colours that nature can provide. I spent far too long simply moving the paint around the board.

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Little Joe – Original charcoal bluetit drawing

Meet Little Joe, he’s a bluetit that comes regularly to my garden and the feeders. Like most bluetits he’s always moving, darting in and out, never still.  When he’s on one feeder he’s always looking to the next one, full of life and energy.

charcoal drawing of a bluetit
Little Joe
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Morning Glow – an original charcoal drawing of an egret

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This Moment.
Sunrise at dawn.
Wading into each others lives.
Togetherness and warmth
(Jack Thompson 2015)

Meet Denis, he’s an egret.  I mistook him for a stork initially but I am better informed now.  Many thanks to Diane Pickering for the kind use of her reference photo.

What I loved about this image was the soft glow of the morning sun hitting the twigs around Denis’ feet and illuminating his bottom feathers, making them glow a lovely warm yellow.

Quite a large piece I had initial decisions to make, do I keep it large and include the habitat or exclude the habitat and focus on the bird itself.  I decided to keep it large – he’s a large bird afterall and have a go at working with the habitat.

It became apparent that I would need to find a method to work with the habitat, I am not used to working on landscapes, my mind was overtaken with all the detail in those twists of twigs and stick.

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After experimenting with several different methods I settled on darkening the whole image and placing the dark shadows in first, then lightening it gradually, reinforcing the dark areas and lifting out the lighter areas.  This is how I work my portraits and fortunately it worked.  The trick is to keep a really light hand with the charcoal so you can blend it in or lift it out.  Here’s a quick video of me drawing it……

and another little video where I am describing the process …

Once I’d cracked the habitat I was able to work calmly on the bird itself.  Being a white bird it was necessary to keep a very light hand and concentrate on the lighter end of the grayscale.

Here is a little slideshow of all the bits of my progress shots…

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I hope you have enjoyed the progress shots of the making of ‘Morning Glow’, Denis has been framed in a dark wooden frame and is ready to hang.

Morning Glow - framed

Denis can be purchased from my online shop, click here or on the image above.

Sebastian – original charcoal drawing of a junco

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Meet Sebastian

He’s a little junco bird, a very fluffy one.

Charcoal is a great medium for capturing movement.

Birds are never still, they are constantly moving or about to.  When drawing or painting birds I like to ensure I’ve captured that flitting sense that a bird has.

 

Here are some progress shots as I build up the charcoal…

 

I make sure the bird is completely drawn in charcoal first, adding the colour just at the end.

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Sebastian is available to buy from my website shop here

Or click on the image below to visit him….

Sebastian (2)

Bird Art – Just Thinking (Alice Born 27 Nov

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Meet Alice, she is a frequent visitor to my bird table.  Happily she loves to pose for photographs and I now have plenty for many future drawings.

I have drawn her in charcoal – here is a progress drawing so you can see her in charcoal…

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I always like to keep the colour to a minimum but it is tricky when a bird has so many lovely colours.  My strength is charcoal so with a solid under drawing in charcoal always helps….

Alice is available to buy from my online shop.  Click here

 

Little Barney – original watercolour bluetit painting

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This is a drawing made from watercolour and watercolour pencils from my own photograph.  Recently having acquired a Nikon camera I am really enjoying taking total control of my own art process.  Starting to photograph my botanical studies and cricket matches I have ventured into photographing birds.  They satisfy both the elements of small fine detailed studies as well as drawing animals that I love.  I photographed this little bluetit on a branch outside my studio.  The tits come in a gang a few times a day to visit the bird table and the coconut suets dangling from the branches.  I can now recognise their singing.

Here are some progress shots of the build up of the painting.  My first go with watercolour pencils, I confess to feeling in love with them already.

The painting can be bought from my website here or clicking on the framed picture below…

Little Barney framed