How to paint a blue tit in 5 easy steps.....

How to paint a blue tit in 5 easy steps.....

What a good week this has been for me, I have really enjoyed my painting and have had the freedom to do what I felt like.The week started in a heat wave but we are very lucky in our cottage with thick cob walls, it stays warm in winter and incredibly cool in summer, those old builders knew what they were doing.

I have painted bees and butterflies, as well as flowers but I ended the week being inspired by birds. So today I thought I would show you how I painted this blue tit.

1. I start with a sketch and I also added some masking fluid where there was white on the wings, just so I could paint letting the colours run into one another. 

2. I always paint the eye first, I know lots of wildlife artists leave the eye till last, but for me I like to paint the most detailed part first , while I feel fresh, while I have the concentration. It also brings the bird to life, I can get to know his character

3. I use series 7 Winsor and Newton brushes ,they are expensive but they hold just the right amount of water and come to a lovely point. When I paint the eye I add blue, and always leave a spot of white paper . I treat the eye like a very small painting in itself, it can take a while.I want there to be lots of tone and depth , this is what holds the piece together, I can get looser now.

4. Working round the eye I wet the paper and add a dark indigo blue for the dark stripe. I dab paint onto the wet paper to show the feathers, I paint the beak and the top of the head merging the colours, this has to feel like one creature not lots of desperate parts.

5. Now I can get on with the rest of the bird. I need to look and look again so I know where I want the lights and darks, I want happy accidents, I want the watercolour to work it's magic so I let it run together, I spray it and flick it , I want it to look like a blue tit  but I also want some spontaneity, not always easy and it takes practice. I would also advise that you walk away at times , have a break and come back to it sometimes they just work themselves out without too much tampering.

 

And so a few more splashes and splats, let him dry and rub out any very noticeable pencil lines, and my work is done !


1 comment

  • Kate

    My favourite little bird, but oh so difficult to paint, you have made it look easy and captured his tiny cheeky character. Love all your work, blogs and step by steps. Off to try the bluetit!

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