A new robin

A new robin

It is bright and cold and sunny here in Devon. We have had some beautiful winter's days. I am beginning to get sorted for Christmas

Feeling frustrated about the postal strikes, as I can't guarantee how long deliveries will take, all I can do is post them as soon as the orders arrive and hope for the best. Fingers crossed packages arrive on time.

Although Christmas is such a special time of year, and people are certainly more important than presents. We have been lighting our advent candle daily 

We made our annual visit to the Christmas Tree festival at Crediton church

And even managed a lovely walk on Dartmoor with good friends.


 Now to paint something Christmassy 

I am asked lots of questions, and I do try to answer when I can . Here is a a much asked question 'do you work from photographs?'

Sometimes I do and sometimes I don't. Today I am painting a robin, a photo by my old school friend Gill who kindly lets me use her shots.

Here is the photo.


So I make a sketch of him

Then I concentrate on the details. The beak...

The feet...these are tricky, they look almost prehistoric, and for years I have hinted at them or faded them out. But this time I concentrated on the detail and tried to represent them accurately 

Then the eye, this chap is looking down so the eye is less of a feature.

Now go in wet in wet. Blues and purples on the white part of his body.

then yellow ochre where the red breast will be.

Then some darker colour. oranges and reddy browns.

Hints of cerulean blue , and burnt umber for the wings.

So as it dries you can tighten up the lighter parts and the darker parts so he begins to look more real.

Add darks where the wings are in shadow, and the tail feathers.

Now he is almost complete. I drew the branch in pencil, so not to disturb my watercolour work from earlier . I also added some dots and splashes around his body 

A new little robin looking downwards...and a new challenge for me.

Hold on , I think the eye looks a bit odd, so I have added a dot of white acrylic, and what is he looking at ?

How about that last rosehip ?


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Rachel, your blog is my favourite read ….your paintings inspire me so much. I love your vibrant colours, your attention to detail and the fact that you have fun with the blurred edges and the splatters. Thank you so very much for sharing your art with us. Happy New Year and I wish you the very best for 2023. P.S. I would love a post on artists who inspired you.

Lesley Larose

Your work is lovely and your spirit seems kind and beautiful. Thank you for sharing your art with us.


Your work is lovely and your spirit seems kind and beautiful. Thank you for sharing your gift/talant with us.


I absolutely love your work. Since losing my dad to cancer, robins are my favourite birds. This painting is by far my favourite 😍


Your work is so beautiful! You truly inspire me. My New Year resolution is to begin painting again. Even if it is just for myself.

Maria Honkala

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