Toco Toucan (Ramphastos toco), Atlantic Rainforest, Paraná, Brazil. Watercolour on A4 hot pressed watercolour paper
Aside from daily visits to see my mother and occasional domestic tasks I managed to do a reasonable number of bird paintings this week.
The subjects I decided to paint were a mix of European and Brazilian species￼.
During the painting process I learned a few things that I have noted at the end of this post.
The list of birds painted is as follows:
- Hermit Thrush
- Mistle Thrush
- Song Thrush
- Ruddy Turnstone
- Buff-necked Ibis
- Agami Heron
- Grey Heron
- Yellow-headed Vulture
- Chestnut-eared Aracari
- Toco Toucan
- Golden-chevroned Parakeet
The only one of these birds that I have not seen/photographed personally is the Hermit Thrush.
Hermit Thrush (Catharus guttatus), seen and photographed by my son in law on the Scilly Isles, UK. Painting based on a numbers of reference photos. Painted in my watercolour journal (Daler Rowney A4 Sketch book).
After painting the Hermit Thrush I decided to paint the three thrushes together for comparison.
Mistle, Hermit and Song Thrushes (Turdus viscivorus, Catharus guttatus and Turdus philomelos). Watercolour on A3 cold pressed watercolour paper.
Close-up of the Song Thrush
I saw and photographed several Turnstones on my way from my mother’s apartment to the hospice where she is recovering from a fractured vertebra.
Turnstone (Arenaria interpres), also known as Ruddy Turnstone, Trapani beach, Sicily. Watercolour on A3 cold pressed watercolour paper
One afternoon I took a trip out to the salt ponds just outside Trapani where I saw several Grey Herons and moorhens but little else.
Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea), Trapani, Sicily. Watercolour on A4 hot pressed watercolour paper.
The other birds were seen and photographed in Brazil (Amazon and Atlantic rainforests and Pantanal).
Agami Heron (Agamia agami), Amazon rainforest, Brazil. Watercolour on A4 hot pressed watercolour paper.
Buff-necked Íbis (Theristicus caudatus), Santa Catarina, Brazil. Watercolour on A4 hot pressed watercolour paper.
Lesser Yellow-headed Vulture (Cathartes burrovianus), Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil. Watercolour on A4 hot pressed watercolour paper.
Chestnut-eared Aracari (Pteroglossus castanotis), Amazon rainforest, Brazil. Watercolour on A4 hot pressed watercolour paper.
Golden-chevroned Parakeet (Brotogeris chororô), Pantanal, Brazil. Watercolour on A4 hot pressed watercolour paper.
While painting on both hot pressed and cold pressed (not) papers, both of which were fine grain I did not find any huge difference in the way the paper behaved with the application of watercolour paints.
I believe that either are good for the paintings that I do but in the case of more anatomically or botanically accurate work then the hot pressed paper would be better.
I tend to under-estimate the amount of paint needed. I also have a habit of working too dry. To specifically resolve these issues I need to do some practice in my journal with wetter mixes.
In my eagerness to paint I avoid a couple of important things that I should do:
- Practice sketches of the subject in my journal to ensure I get the details and character of the subject right
- Tonal value sketches to ensure I￼ get the shading correct. This is more important in landscape painting but is a useful discipline for all subjects
I plan to continue painting birds. I am running out of hot pressed paper but have plenty of cold pressed fine grain paper in stock.
Although I have used salt for texture in some paintings I shall employ this method in my bird paintings in the coming week.