Sunday, January 20, 2013

Painting the Black and White of Birds

Watercolour 'Woodpecker'
The Hairy, Downy, Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker, Pileated, and Red-Shafted Flicker Woodpeckers reside in the forest where I live and when they are sighted you can't help stopping to watch them. At least I can't. The Red-bellied Woodpecker depicted in this watercolour painting resides in the eastern United States. His red head is irresistible!
When painting the back and wings, I mixed a dark black using the red and viridian. With this rich mix, paying attention to the patterning going around the bird, brush in the black, leaving the white of the paper in between. It doesn't hurt to lightly sketch in the pattern first as it is easy to get lost.
Using softer brush strokes on other parts of the bird provides a contrast to the hard edges of the black and white area. 


3 comments:

Win Dinn said...

I am sure I saw its head move, Eileen - lovely work!

Laura Leeder said...

I so enjoy watching the woodpeckers in our backyard. You've really captured the character of this guy Eileen.

Quilt Rat said...

we have a pair of Downy Woodpeckers...on days when I don't catch a glimpse of them I can just scoot on over here :-)