Bird's Eye View Watercolor by Jan Howlett, Stage 7

Hi All Artist Hearts.
I must apologize for the extra delay in posting this update for Bird's Eye View.  Quite suddenly my 15 month old Computer gave up the ghost!  It was only 3 months over the expired warranty and in spite of the fact that I had tried several times to have some issues corrected from day one the Company would not help at all.  So the search for a new laptop was a month long excursion, but we are set up now and bit by bit ironing out the bugs and getting used to new software.  So we are up and running and will, hopefully, be free of any disasters or further delays.

Today we are focusing on the Purple Finch in our painting.  I thought it would be interesting to see my simple black and white sketch with it's flat graphite markings transformed into a brilliantly colored three dimensional feathered bird.

I started with some pale light washes for the basic body features.  The key to obtaining the body weight is a slow build up of veils of color before adding in the various details that bring the object, or in this case, the bird to life.  Painting in the shadows brings dimension and realism as well. 

Even painting in the background color and textures is an important finishing touch to push the bird forward and into focus as seen in the samples in our photo.  The background here helps to harmonize all of the colors into a cohesive whole and avoids any appearance of the elements as simply a group of individual subjects pasted together on one page. 

When this is accomplished we are drawn into the picture plane allowing our eyes to travel comfortably through the rest of the painting to the next area of interest.  

In the next post we will try to wrap up this series by adding in a ladybug within eye-shot of the bird, giving our bird feet, adding background textures and a few more deepened shadows on the driftwood fence as well as finishing off some of the foliage.  Hopefully it will only need a final once over to check details and any fixes needed before signing it off as a finished, ready to frame painting.

Until next time, stay inspired and keep your brushes busy.