New Painting – Watercolor Cardinal

August 26, 2008 | By | 12 Replies More

Thanks to everyone who has encouraged the birds, I hope this is appealing. It’s loose and sketchy in feel, but hopefully captures the right details and says Cardinal.
This is number 7 of the trials that I did. It took me that long to get one I was pleased with – it’s on the back of an earlier one that was unfinished because it was too bad to proceed! There are three that are finished and I’ll post the others soon.
The process for painting these is very straightforward. I sketch the bird lightly in pencil and then paint the first loose layer of watercolor. This layer is painted in a combination of wet on wet and wet on dry methods. I moisten the paper in some areas of the background and then paint the bird letting the colors mingle in the body and the colors spread into the background. This first paint application is the most important as well as the easiest to make a mistake.
After letting it dry, I add the spatters for texture and dry again. The last step is to add the small details and harder edges where necessary as well as modifying the body forms to look more realistic. After painting, I sharpen the eye, beak and feet with colored pencil, if necessary.
Materials & particulars- Finished size: 5×7, Winsor & Newton watercolors on Arches 140lb cold press paper, Prismacolor colored pencils

Tags: , , ,

Category: Painting

Comments (12)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Ann says:

    Love it!
    This series would make lovely cards:)

  2. Lynn says:

    I’m really enjoying your series of birds. They are all a bit different, but they are all utterly charming.

  3. Spinneretta says:

    Lovely- my kids recognise them, so you know you are on the right track 🙂 I think they would make lovely notecards too!!

  4. Kunstrxns says:

    you just keep getting better and better.

  5. Deb says:

    It does say Cardinal! Wonderful job!

  6. Barbara Weeks says:

    I love it!

  7. Christie says:

    Wow — you caught a cardinal, all right. And in such a loose and juicy fashion, I love it.

  8. FRANKYE says:

    No matter how dark one of my days may be, a little cardinal will always brighten it. Your painting is lovely and gives the little fellow a personality. He seems to be saying “I’m the prettiest one at the feeder!” Thank you for sharing your process of this painting – it is a help to understand how other people produce such beautiful work.

  9. kazumiwannabe says:

    Beautiful – I agree he has a lot of personality! Love the loose feel of the painting, and your explanation, very interesting.

  10. Nina Johansson says:

    Beautiful! I like the spatterings that kind of float into the bird. It gives a lot of life to this painting. Lovely!

  11. PNH says:

    Love your birds

  12. lyn says:

    Lively cardinal, nice work! Thanks for the comment on a hundred horses. I’ve been drawing them since I could hold a crayon. When I had to add the tiny riders on some jewelry for a horse show I had to start figure drawing again!
    Continued success.

Leave a Reply