Hi , I am sitting in my warm studio, log fire burning, looking out on a cold frozen January scene. I know I should be admiring winter's cold beauty , the bare beautiful trees and the glistening frost,
but today I am wishing for warmer days, and summer sunshine,..
I am trying to get out, wrapped up against the cold, enjoying watching robins hop around my bird feeders.
I have really enjoyed the return of winter watch on BBC TV, seeing the creatures battle against the elements . the amazing barn owl hunt silently for it's prey .
I have been on my winter walks
However I am looking forward to seeing the Spring bulbs push upwards through the soil and the the longer evenings , and blossoming hedgerows that summer brings.
So today I thought was a day for swallows, I can conjure up my own start of summer here in mid January , whatever the season ...
I begin with a sketch and then the eye.
I like the eye to be as precise as I can make it. I love painting eyes. I always try to show the light hitting the eye by leaving a dot of white. I use my smallest brushes in such a small space, and it takes practice.
Then I begin on the furthest wing.
This is lightly painted in a weak concentration of cobalt blue, then while it is still wet ( but not too wet ) I add the veins of the wing with cobalt blue mixed with cadmium red.
This is about control, if you add too much water it all bleeds together, practise first on a scrap of paper.
Now I can finish the head, and beak, I am using lighter colours first and adding darker colours into the mix. You can see how the yellow shows through, also the darker area around the eye,
Now the main wing of the painting
Now this is mainly done in a mixture of cad red and cobalt blue, used in different strengths, be brave and careful. watch what is happening and stop when you are happy. I add splatters in the direction of flight.
I have also painted his little feet and then used masking fluid over the top so I can paint the body next.
I use the white of the paper for the highlights, then yellow and an orangy red brown to get darker, the tail feathers are painted in the same way as the main wing. I have added more splatters . I like to drop paint into the painting rather than use actual brush strokes. watercolour is all about controlling the water, which takes time to master.
Have a go, and see where it takes you , our imaginations can fly high. Painting can take you anywhere you want to go, for me this week, it was a return to summer days