The kingfisher

The kingfisher

My daughter walked into my studio the other day and announced, "is this it now , you're just painting old women!" I looked around and saw my recent work drying on the boards and saw I had been enjoying painting my people recently

....But no I am not just painting old women, animals and nature still feature ,a lot. Today the fancy took me to paint a kingfisher and to try as best I could to break the process into steps for you too.

Firstly I sketched him out



Then I began work on the eye, 



This is cerulean blue, leaving the white of the paper in an area at the top.



Now I have added darker tones with indigo and burnt umber. the pupil sits by the white so it heightens the contrast between light and dark.

I have also left a white ring round the eye and added more detail at the top



Next I concentrated on the beak. I under-painted with cerulean blue then darkened the edges with indigo . 

Next I moved to the top of the kingfisher, Phthalo blue under with cobalt blue and a bit of indigo for the very dark edges

I also sprinkle tiny splashes of water to add texture.

Then onto the orange, under-painted with indian yellow, the cadmium orange and a bit of cadmium red pale hue too



So I painted the blue on the head under the eye too, then moved down to the body, I am getting bolder and looser as I go. This bit is quite wet, and I add yellow's oranges and raw sienna too, I want the body to connect to the wing



as you can see here. the wing and the body are painted together. Then the feathers at the end are done in a mixture of cobalt blue and cadmium red, I use water splatted at the end of the wings and let some of the paint bleed into it.

Be loose here, I could have been more bold but ultimately it is what it is.


Now I really splashing the water around. I want a suggestion of the river and a suggestion of the other wing


I stand back and see what I need to alter



I add some white acrylic, and some other splashes, and  walk away, leave it to dry, do something else, and try not to fiddle, the hardest part is knowing when it is done


Happy painting x




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I love this painting. I am in in Hawaii and I will paint loose but what was willing to paint looser. I’m glad I ran across your Instagram. Thank you for the description of the way you painted it. And you’ve used my favorite colors. Thanks. June
June rubenstein

Thank you for sharing technique! Wonderful colours and the Kingfisher comes alive!


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