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