Painting James's Robin

Painting James's Robin

It is that time of year....nights are drawing in and Bonfire night has come and gone. It feels like a time to batten down the hatches and cosy up inside, but when we do venture outside there is so much to see. I think robins especially catch our eye in what can be a grey landscape, that flash of colour in winter is so welcome. So when yesterday on Facebook James showed me pictures he had taken of a very curious little robin I knew I wanted to paint him.

I thought this little watercolour may evolve as I worked on it and I thought it might be helpful to share my process with you

Firstly I printed off a copy of the photo, 

 

and sketched out the robin and some of the branches.

Then I started with the eye, 

 

 

 

I paint the lightest colour first, in this case yellow ochre and leave a patch of white. I am using small brushes that come to a good point so I can be in control of where the paint goes, watch out for any drips of water as they can ruin these small precise bits.

 

 

next I use a darker colour I think this is raw sienna and paint the section again but letting some of the yellow shine through.

I really look at the eye and see how I can bring it alive, so I add darker tones and some blue to reflect the sky

 

 

The eye takes some time as does the beak. I want these to 'anchor' the painting so whatever I do next ,it still looks real.

 

I make a start on the 'red breast' and paint the yellows first, then the orangy red,

 

 

I am painting more quickly now as I want the colours to blend with each other. Robins have a lot of blue in them and purples too. . Paint what you see not what you think is there, 

 

 

Now I have a decision to make about the background . I could leave it white , or I could paint it as it is or I could add a snowy scene......

 

 

Remember when you are the artist it is all up to you x


7 comments

  • Mirjam

    Dear Rachel. Thank you so much for sharing your way of painting. I like your pictures a lot and It really helps to learn! Mirjam from Munich

  • Mirjam

    Dear Rachel. Thank you so much for sharing your way od painting. I like your pictures a lot and It really helps to learn! Mirjam fro Munich

  • Mirjam Streefland

    How wonderful that you want to share your way of painting with us.

  • Klf Barrett

    I really appreciate you taking the times to show the progression of your work. Just love this little guy. Thx

  • Rachel Toll

    Thanks for your comments, I am glad you enjoyed my description …..wasn’t sure anyone was reading it , wonderful x

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