Painting a pair of puffins !

Painting a pair of puffins !

Here in my corner of Mid Devon the seasons are changing , early Spring is giving way to an abundance of wildflowers in the hedgerows and woods. Bluebells and wild garlic are blooming everywhere, and the trees are gaining their leaves.



 While awful news pours out of many countries of the world, nature seems to carry on regardless .I have been coming down with a cold this week and am feeling a little sorry for myself but an hour or two walking amongst the trees and hills of Devon restore a feeling of equilibrium.



Today's blog is a tricky one, more of a challenge than some, do  have a go, or just try one puffin for now. Otherwise there are plenty of simpler blogs, there's one on bluebells I think that may be a bit easier


I do love painting puffins. The colours are wonderful, the oranges and yellows against the back and white of their bodies 

I wondered if I could paint a pair of puffins having them interact with the sea and each other seemed to make a more dynamic composition .I sketched them out , mid flight, perhaps fighting over the same fish above the waves.

I proceeded to paint the lovely orange webbed feet. I start with a first wash of Indian Yellow, then some darker cadmium orange and finally burnt sienna for the darker tones. 


You can see I put a lot of detail into my puffins.

I painted the feet on both puffins first.

Then I moved up the body, I used yellow ochre, a purple made from cadmium red and cobalt blue, all wet in wet, I think there's some cerulean blue in there too.

I also painted in some of the black wings with paynes grey.

Now I can start on the face, creating shadows with the same colours.


The beak and the eyes, look where the lights are , use blues in the darks to show where the light is hitting the top of the head. 

The wings are described very loosely, All wet in wet, I paint the whole wing with water then add the 'ribs' of the wings in paynes grey while it is still wet. It takes practice to know how wet to have everything. Look lots at what you are trying to paint. Once you understand it it makes more sense to your brush ( if you get what I mean)

Now I paint the other wing which is cerulean blue and paynes grey

You can have breaks in this piece if it's taking up too much concentration, I do find I get tired halfway though, so take breaks, have a wander, or a cuppa.

The second puffin is painted in a similar order.

There they are dynamic and free,

Now the sea is very loose, indigo and cerulean blue, all very wet ( like the sea ) 

Just hit at the waves try not to be too literal, and you'll have a wonderful, sea salty painting. 



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