A Goldfinch painting in stages

A Goldfinch painting in stages

The year is turning again and the evenings have that distinctly autumnal feel, some of the leaves are changing colour, as we leave summer behind. My children are growing fast and starting the  new school year in their high school uniforms nearly grown up...nearly, but not quite.

So I have more time to paint , to prepare for exhibitions and to decide on Christmas card designs for this year. And more time to write blogs and sort out the website, I have a number of commissions to paint but I leave Fridays and Saturdays for me, and as autumn has arrived I wanted to paint this little Goldfinch on his autumnal branch

First the sketch 


Then some masking fluid to cover the white bits


Now at this stage I was preserving the white bits on the wing, but masking fluid can be a bit harsh and see what happens later on....

As with happens a lot with my step by step blogs I sort of got lost in the work after this . I paint the eye first, then the beak. I get so engrossed in the colours an d the process that it is difficult to explain. I want to be loose and precise at the same time, sometimes I manage it better than others. People often ask how to paint loosely ...believe me I really don't know! I think it is a process of how much you can bear to leave unsaid.... I try, and sometimes I do better than others



At this point the masking fluid is still there. but when I rubbed it off I didn't like the harsh lines it left so I painted over it and splattered some white acrylic there instead.

This little bird is more precise than I first intended, maybe the bright colours put me off, made me lose my nerve. But he pleases me anyway and I find the more familiar a subject the more I feel able to let go of it ,so I may just need to paint more Goldfinches. I now need to add the leaves ,then add and take away from the painting until I am happy to leave it be .

I like to let paintings decide where they need to go and once they are done I am left thinking about the next one.....


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1 comment

Thanks for sharing. I love your style and follow you on Instagram. I’m a Bird photographer and hope to paint from my own photos. Did you splatter the tail with acrylic also?

Sue L

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