For quite a while I’ve played with the notion of playing with the pouring paint technique. I’d also been eyeing this reference photo at the Morguefile archive of two sparrows bathing in a puddle. I really liked it, but felt a bit intimidated by it.
When I saw that the prompt for week 9 of ’52 Weeks of Watercolour Birds’ was House Sparrow, I knew it was time to try the photo.
I also decided to tackle the background by pouring paint. I used a bit of packaging tape to mask off the ‘white’ areas of the sparrows and a ripple or two. This was done by drawing the birds lightly with a pencil, applying the tape, cutting the shapes I wanted with an exacto knife, and peeling away the excess tape. A bit nerve-wracking, but it works.
Then I made a very watery mix of Cobalt Blue, wet the paper well, and poured the paint. I tilted the paper every which way, until I was satisfied with the coverage. Quickly, I mixed some watery Lunar Blue paint, and poured it into the still wet cobat blue. Lunar Blue granulates wonderfully and seperates out into different tones, ranging from bluish gray to robin’s egg blue.
I’m not quite happy with the composition. I think I got the birds too close together, and that the shadows dominate too much. The lighting isn’t quite correct. This I could fix, but I love the clean color that came from pouring, and decided, for now at least, I wasn’t going to fiddle with the painting any more.
All in all, I’m happy with the result of my exercise in pouring paint.
For the birds I chose the same palette that I’ve used for several of my bird paintings. The pigment in my mixes are M. Graham: Anthraquinone Blue; Daniel Smith: Hansa Yellow Light; Qor: French Cerulean Blue, Naples Yellow, Sap Green, Burnt Sienna, Permanent Alizarin Crimson. I adapted this palette from the one suggested in ‘Domenic DiStefano’s Painting Dynamic Watercolors’,
To paint the birds, I used a Silver Black Velvet Round size 6.
This bird was done in the Global Art Materials Field Watercolor Artist Journal Hand Book, 7 by 10-Inch that I’m using for the ’52 Weeks of Watercolour Birds’.