Seven Hummingbirds #06

Our first hummingbird along with his honeysuckle blossom is rendered and it feels as though our painting is actually coming to life.

hummingbird and blossom

I had not been sure that orange blossoms would not take away from the right colors in the hummingbirds. It was a scary thought. So, in all honesty, this first one was an experiment. I think we will be safe with the color scheme with the way this first one shows. Yay!

humbirdseven13 You will notice that we are also able to make the sunrise in the background come to life. I carefully wet the area staying just a tad away from the main characters using a light mix of Cadmium Yellow Light, and then fill my brush with bright drops of New Gambouge, and Cadmium Yellow Dark. Just dripping in the color and letting it do it’s own magic as it mixes.

Seven Hummingbirds #04

Since the layout is now pretty much completed. I know where I want to put all seven of the hummingbirds. The tree branches are wrapped with honeysuckle vine and loaded with blossoms for the birds.

layout is ready for background

Now I can carefully lay in a yellow background. The reason for this unusually bright background is  that I am wanting to create a sunrise through the trees.

yellow background is added

Seven Hummingbirds #03

Now the color begins!

I start to carefully add light washes as I grow the vines around the tree. My  job is to layout where the vine and blossoms will grow around the branches fitting around the hummingbirds without distracting from them. There needs to be  plenty of the birght orange and red honeysuckle blossoms for the birds to be getting their nectar from.  begin washes I know it is hard to see from this faraway shot so I am adding close ups to help with seeing the details.

Lower section. putting the vines with it’s blossoms, all the leaves, helps me to see the hummingbird action better.

lower section

Middle section. The birds are able to be more formally rendered in the sketches as I get the foliage going. It is all a flexible and creative journey.

middle section

Top section, I love the freedom of growing my vine as I go. this drives some artists crazy but I love it.

top section

Seven Hummingbirds #02

The first of a series of progressive images taken as I paint a large water color with seven hummingbirds, honeysuckle vine and a tree branch.

Beginning with sketching in the main characters and general layout. I am lightly using pencil on  a 22″ x 30″ sheet of Arches watercolor paper (300lb). It is important to not go heavy with your pencil because you want to be able to erase any lines later. Some artist’s don’t erase any lines but I typically do erase any that I notice.


Seven Hummingbirds #01

This is a series of blog posts showing the progress as I paint a large water color including seven different flying hummingbirds, honeysuckle vine and a tree branch. All seen during morning time coffee this summer.

Outside of my studio during summer months we have multiple  feeders on our deck and greatly enjoy our colorful visitors. It is inspiring to listen to “Star Wars” sounds as the humming birds zoom in and out constantly competing for the bright sugary water. They are aerodynamic wonders as they fly in, hover, fly backwards and take off faster than my camera can click.

hb24 hb25 hb26

Hope you enjoy.