Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Step 4 in Cardinals watercolor

I wet the body of the female cardinal and dropped in yellow ochre, cad orange and burnt sienna..then a few touches of cad scarlet. While the bird was still very damp, I mixed cobalt blue into the burnt sienna and sofly contoured the shadow on the lower part of the body. When dry I painted the black feathers around the beak and the black eye using a very dark mixture of ultramarine blue and burnt sienna. I left a little highlight in the eye and around..look very carefully at your reference photo and paint detail as you see it.

I painted the beak with cad orange, cad scarlet and a bit of winsor red for the shadows..the tiniest bit of the black on the tip of the beak.

I painted the male in a similar fashion beginning with water and dropping in cad scarlet and winsor red to contour the body. I used brown madder for the darkest shadows and under the tail. I painted the feet gripping the limb with a combination of brown madder and cobalt blue. This male had more black feathers around his beak, painted again with a mixture of ultramarine blue and burnt sienna.

When both birds were painted, I began painting the limbs of the old redbud tree, using first a very wet pale gray mixed with cobalt blue and a touch of burnt sienna and then dropping in a stronger mixture with more burnt sienna along the shaded edge of the limbs. I continued painting these with varying mixtures to give interest and make the limbs twist and turn. The darker limbs usually appear to come toward you while the paler ones recede. I painted a couple of scraggly leaves yellow with edges dropped in with burnt sienna and cad scarlet.

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