Something new: Watercolour Birds

Since moving to this house, we have Kookaburras who come sit on our back fence, eagles and hawks swirling on the airstream above us and at the bottom of our hill is wetlands full of other feathered wonders. My mum gave me her old Birds of Australia illustrated book and now it’s official.

I am a bird nerd.

I am just in love with birds right now! So many colours, shapes and expressions out in the world and although I tired to capture it in my Rainbow Crow soft sculpture, I just couldn’t get the beauty of the details.

THE PROJECT

The magnificent Indian Roller, found right across Asia

The magnificent Indian Roller, found right across Asia

I am constantly drawn the the table of cheap art supplies outside newsagents, and not always being able to control my crafting urges, over the years I have ended up with various paint sets and brushes, including some tubes of watercolour paint. Which was awesome because on a whim, I painted this:

It was so much fun! I thought I would try a more single dimension version, but I couldn’t help filling in the details. It is not as much ‘watercolour style’, I think I ended up using some liquid paint because my collect of watercolour paint tubes might have been numerous, but none contained a light blue/aqua (Grrr).

Anyway, this got me started on a new path of painting. I really enjoy making soft toys, but they are so time intensive and much of the time is spent on the process with only a little on the creative element, so paintings more immediate results really appealed 🙂

Here are some more bird studies I have painted:

Two versions of the Splendid Fairy Wren and a freehand attempt at a Blue Tit!

Two versions of the Splendid Fairy Wren and a freehand attempt at a Blue Tit!

A Crested Satin Bird, Guianan Cock-on-the-Rock (!) and a watercolour pencil Cardinal

A Crested Satin Bird, Guianan Cock-on-the-Rock (!) and a watercolour pencil Cardinal

 

Here is my favourite so far, it’s a combination of watercolour paint and pencils:

The fabulously coloured European Bee Eater.

The fabulously coloured European Bee Eater.

NOTE TO SELF

Its been a steep learning curve with lots of mistakes as you can probably see! But I am really motivated to learn more about how to paint watercolour and how to apply it to birds.

1. I think I am probably trying to do them on too small a scale – I am working in a large 11×14″ sketch book but each bird only takes up a quarter of a page.

2. The sketchbook is just standard paper, not watercolour so the affects the outcome too. Once I get a little better I will upgrade to proper watercolour paper!

3. I have since found out that my acrylic brushes aren’t the same as watercolour brushes, so they are on my shopping list now too.

What kind of creatures are you drawn to create?

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