Saturday, January 18, 2014

The Next Step in Bird Portrait Painting

Here's the drawing table, supplies, set-up as I prepared to use the photos & tiny sketches in putting the images on the square canvases.

Because I haven't painted in acrylics on canvas in SO long (except for "Birds on a Wire" in 2013), I've chosen to work on "bargain" canvas. These are available at Michael's - see here; and at JoAnn Fabrics see here:. Each store offers coupons for 40-50% off every other week or so - which I save & use for the pricey purchases I need. Normally, these are sold in packages of 7 for $25.00 or so. They frequently offer them at $19.99 for the sets of 7 12" square canvases. Or you can use their coupons & get a really GREAT price!

Below are 11 of the 14 canvases ready for painting.

Blue Jay in vine charcoal
Above, you can see the really quick layout done in vine charcoal. I gently wipe the charcoal off and then do the pencil study directly over the hinted layout on the canvas, correcting proportions as I go. See below.
Blue Jan in pencil

Blue Tit


Carolina Wren - 1

Carolina Wren - 2 These wrens are quite petite and this drawing makes the bird seem HUGE. However, I wanted it up-close-and-personal, and it is!

European Robin

European Robin upside-down - this view helps me recognize any problems in proportions, etc.

Fairy Wren (Australia)

Yellow-shafted Flicker

Pine Warbler - one hit our window this summer, so I learned what it was after some research! Warblers are really hard to spot in the wild...


Rose-breasted Woodpecker

White-throated Sparrow

Acrylic Paints readied on the table

I have 2 easles (thank you, Polly Miller, for the wooden one!)

Here's a view of my studio - from the doorway. It's in the basement so I need an oil-radiator style heater to warm up the room in the winter. The window faces NorthEast thus never gets direct sunlight. But natural light is available all day long, thankfully. I need lots of light, especially in winter!

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