Saturday, 25 February 2017

New Portrait Painting

I've begun to draw up my next portrait painting of the grandkids.  Since the last one was finished, I have two more kids to add to the picture!

This is a rough sketch of the composition on an A4 piece of paper, taken from a photo shoot I did one afternoon with the kids.  I took about 200 photos in all and picked out the best of some of them.  I'm in the middle of re-drawing the composition on to my canvas which is a fairly large 101 x 76 cm.

Monday, 20 February 2017

Painting Leaves

The leaves in the foreground should be painted a little soft, so that the viewer can look over them and into the painting, resting their eyes on the focal point.  I have used the same colours as the bird to help achieve this, blending into the bird's colours.  I think the most important thing about painting the leaves in this painting, is the strong highlights and soft, dark shadows.

Sunday, 12 February 2017

How to Paint Birds' Feet

I painted the branch at the same time as the bird's feet so that I could get the contrast of the feet right.  The light is very strong on the bird's left, so in order to get that highlight light enough without making it white and therefore losing it's colour, I painted the branch as dark as I could to get that highlight to pop out.

I painted in the darks first with Ultramarine Blue and Cadmium Red and then the midtone shadows.  The highlights are very light pinks, and very light blues - put a lot of colour into your greys and blacks so that they don't appear too dull.

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Follow the Directional Growth of Feathers

You can now see in this photo how important it is to get the direction of the feathers right.  It gives the bird depth and solidity, especially in that orange chest.  Remember to do just the one colour section at a time, so the colours don't become muddy. 

Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Feathers, Feathers, Feathers

I think the most important tip for painting feathers is to follow the direction of their growth and shape them accordingly.  They overlap, so are darker at the top where they overlap, and lighter at the bottom.  This bird's feathers are sleeker at the top as he stretches forward slightly, so make them a little smoother here (by lessening the contrast between dark and light).

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

How to Paint Feathers

I'm going to paint one colour at a time, starting with the head and working my way down.  With a mid-tone blue, I roughly painted in the feathers, concentrating on the direction first.  I then did a very light blue for the top of the head.  To make a dark blue, I added a tiny bit of red and brushed through the feathers, softening them as I went.  Extra highlights were added with a fine brush and some medium to the ends of the feathers where they overlap.  Mess it up with a few stray feathers, and split feathers so it doesn't become too uniform.  Redarken some patches here and there for extra depth, especially around the eyes.

Friday, 13 January 2017

Drawing a Pelican

I drew this pelican initially to practise my drawing skills.  I haven't done a drawing for a while, but I found it was a great way to unwind and relax without thinking too much about it.  And I still do love drawing.