Tag Archives: paintingfromlife

9th & 10th Paintings for Challenge – Yellow Headed Blackbirds

Yellow-Headed Blackbird One

Today I couldn’t resist my yellow-headed blackbird friend. He and I had a conversation on my walk the other day. I don’t know if he was pleased to see me. I think he thought I might threaten his nest. Have you ever heard these birds? Man, do they like to screech! But they also have a cute chirp when you get close to have a “talk.”

I painted him twice. No pre-drawing for either rendition. I quite like both outcomes. I know tomorrow is going to be a busy day. I start teaching my watercolor class at Western Nevada College. I thought I’d better paint two paintings today, just in case I don’t have time tomorrow.

Yellow-Headed Blackbird Too

For the first study, I waxed off the white wing tips, then saturated the paper front and back. While the paper was “cooking in the water,” I prepared my paints in the palette: I used Hansa Yellow Medium and Deep for the light areas of the head, and Raw Sienna Light for the yellow shadow areas (all Daniel Smith). I mixed Ultramarine Light (Holbein) with Pyrrol Transparent Orange (Daniel Smith) for the darks on the body. For the background and trees, I added Cascade Green (Daniel Smith). I also used all the bird colors in the background to promote harmony.

For the second study, I used the same color combinations, but my process was different. I wetted the background area but kept paper where I wanted the bird dry. I did not use wax for the wing tips. I dropped in weak blue and green while the paper was wet and puddly and let the paint swim around and blend on the paper. I then dried the paper back to damp before working on the bird itself.

I like both paintings. I think the second is more accurate proportions, but I like the softness of the first study. What do you think?

I have video clips for both paintings. I may edit them someday. Stay tuned!

If you are interested in purchasing either of these paintings ($150 for top painting, which is framed, or $100 for bottom painting with mat only), I have included a convenient Buy Now button below <smile>. PayPal is my credit card processor. You do NOT need a PayPal account to purchase, just a valid credit or debit card.

Both paintings are 5×5″x7.5″ on 140lb Arches cold press paper. Under the “Choose Painting” options; “One” is the first image, “Too” is the second painting.

Both paintings will be delivered via the USPS postal service. Shipping cost is $15 only if purchased via PayPal checkout (Check payments will incur additional shipping charges). Taxes are additional, where applicable. If the unframed painting is purchased, the shipping charge is only $4.50 and the customer will be refunded extra charges via PayPal).


Choose Painting



I appreciate all comments, questions and suggestions. Thank you for stopping by.

 

3rd Painting 30×30 Direct Watercolor Challenge – Coral Birthday

“Coral Birthday” (click on image for a larger view)

To continue with the #30x30directwatercolor challenge, I am painting yet another birthday bouquet. This one with 5 little coral roses, a red rose (which I removed from the bouquet temporarily) and some red berries.

The challenge was capturing the muted coral color. From my color temperature studies, I know to make a vibrant secondary color mix, I want to mix the two primaries that are closer together. Going with that theory,  a less vibrant, or duller, secondary color mix should be achieved by mixing the two primary colors that are further apart on the color wheel. Since coral is really an orange (secondary) color, I chose to use two cool reds (Quinacridone red and rose) and a cool yellow (Hansa Yellow Light). I also added a tiny bit of Cobalt Blue to neutralize the orange a bit more. I wanted a light, warm blue. A dark blue would be too harsh and a cool blue would make it too gray.

Painting with Source Bouquet

I saturated the 8″x10″ 140lb rough Arches watercolor paper, using a 1 1/2″ clean flat brush. I let the paper soak while I prepared my paint puddles; about 5 mins.

I then dried back the paper a bit, just to take the sheen off, and started putting in light areas of color with my Lowe-Cornell #14 round brush, starting with yellow, then reds, with the paint very watery. At this stage, the paper is very wet and all the colors blend beautifully. I kept a light touch on the paper, just skimming the surface. I use a motion I call, “The S Caress.”  The “S” describes the motion, the caress describes the amount of pressure.

As the paper started to dry, I strengthened the pigment (to about a skim milk consistency) and painted in some darker value shapes, also adding just a touch of Cobalt Blue to the orange mix, sometimes going directly to the paper with the Cobalt. In the second stage, the paint holds a shape a little better, so I paint in some darker value areas, blending out the colors softly. I cleaned my brush, removed all the water and lifted some areas on the petals. This has to be done while the paper and paint are still wet.

Finally, I strengthened the pigment more and added the red berries and some dark accents all around. For the accents, I used my Alvaro Castagnet calligraphy liner brush. Start to finish, 45 minutes.

If you’re interested in purchasing this painting ($100), it is 7.5″x5.5″ watercolor on 140lb Arches watercolor paper with a white/black core mat. Thank you in advance. I use PayPal as my payment processor. You do NOT need a PayPal account to purchase. Shipping cost is $7.00 only if purchasing through PayPal (check payments and destinations outside the continental U.S. will incur additional shipping charges). Taxes are additional, where applicable.

“Coral Birthday” Painting $100 (with mat)


I appreciate any questions, comments or suggestions. Thank you for stopping by.