I started this last night and finished it today, one of the best and worst things about being slightly nocturnal, all the best ideas and the inspiration to do things comes at silly times of night.
- Derwent watercolour pencils
- Derwent A5 watercolour paper 140lbs
- A Derwent number 1 aquabrush
I got the reference photo for this little guy off of morguefile. I began by drawing out the branch with a watercolour pencil, using number 61 which is Copper Beech, I used this as it’s a mid range between the darker and lighter colours I would be using on the branch. I then placed in the outline for the bird using number 39 Turquoise Blue. Once I’d done that and was happy it was looking accurate, I began to block in the colours of brown for the branch. I used several different shades and overlapped a lot of them to aid with them mixing once I added the water, once I was happy that it looked like a reasonably realistic branch (I obviously wasn’t going for total realistic detail with this one) I used one of my aqua brushes to blend the browns together, being careful not to overwork any of the areas as the colour moves a little too much and risks losing some of the values and shades when that happens.
After I’d finished the branch I started adding the colour to the bird, I used greys, white and blues, including the one I did the outline with to do the majority of the birds colours, I also used raw sienna and burnt sienna for the orange sections of the feathers, then using my aqua brush I blended the colours together. Making sure that the brush strokes went in the same directions as the feathers. Once it’d had dried I then picked out highlights and darkened some areas by using my brush to directly take colour from the selected pencils to get finer detail.
When I was done with the bird I went through my background adding various greens, and blues including the ones used on the bird, overlapping several areas, I also added a brown in there to create the look of possible trees. Then I just used my aqua brush on it, making sure the brush strokes didn’t all go in the same way. I was going for more of a blurry look with the background to help make the bird and the branch stand out.
One of the reasons I love watercolour pencils so much is the ability to create quick projects with them.