I don't know about you, but I am extremely ready for spring. We have had snow on the ground since October 22 - that is five months of winter. Now don't get me wrong, I'm glad it is melting slowly. No one needs flooding. But ohhh how I long to dig in the dirt and stick my naked toes in the green grass. Or even just smell the green grass and hear the birds sing their spring songs. I guess we got a little spoiled with some easy winters and early springs a couple of years ago. Hopefully we will reap the payoff with fewer bugs this summer.
I saw a few robins back in February along the side of the road. But, so far, I haven't seen a single one in our yard. (Just as well, I am sure, since it would be pretty hard to dig for worms in the frozen ground.) So I decided to paint my own 'sign of spring'.
I used a photo I found on the internet on a Wikipedia page about state birds. I first drew the bird freehand, but then I wasn't satisfied with the proportions so I went ahead and printed out the photo sized for my watercolor paper and traced the outline. Lazy, I know, but using a computer to size things is just too darn easy - and quick. And I wanted to get on with the painting.
|Before layering the light washes on the background|
Here are some photos of how the background looked before and after I added the washes. Big improvement and now the background doesn't distract from the main attraction - Mr. Robin.
|After adding two light washes of Ultramarine Blue.|
Before painting the robin, I applied masking fluid around the eye and on the white areas of his breast to retain the whites. The white areas on his wings (feathers) I was able to create by picking up the paint with a slightly damp brush. Here again, you want to make sure the painting is dry and that you are using a brush that is very clean and just slightly moist. I use the chisel edge of a small flat brush for this.
I always use good watercolor paper even if it is just a small or experimental project. You can't learn technique on cheap paper - it only frustrates you. My favorite is Aquarelle Artist grade paper or Kilimanjaro, which is a brand sold by Cheap Joe's. Both are excellent.
Here's hoping everyone has a beautiful Spring - and soon! As always, thanks for stopping and I would love to hear from you if you have time to leave a comment.