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.
I am getting quite proficient with my camera now and despite walking and taking my camera with me, the best shots are always from the birds in my own garden.
This little fella comes to visit with his gang most days. The feeding from the bird table and the feeders has increased greatly since the weather has got colder. I recognise Billy from the slightly tufty hair on his head, he’s quite bold for a bluetit.
I made a little video of laying down the pastel on his head with a few conte sticks. I love adding a shock of colour to my charcoal drawings but always try to keep it to a minimum
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…