In the post, I'm going to tell you how I painted "House Sparrow". It's an 8x10 acrylic on a Fredrix Green Label Belgian linen canvas. My reference photo is from Lisa Clough Of Lachri Fine Art.
I started with a sky blue background, which looks a lot brighter in person than it does in this photo.
I got my image onto the canvas using transfer paper, drawing in what I couldn't get transferred with the transfer paper and ballpoint pen, with a charcoal pencil.
I painted a black and white underpainting to get my values right.
For the feathers, I used a combination of transparent burnt sienna with yellow light hansa for and transparent burnt sienna mixed with quinacridone red for my second layer
I used a liner brush to put feathers back in here using gray made by mixing titanium white and mars black and of that same white and burnt sienna.
.I glazed a premixed grayish blue, which was surprisingly translucent, over the top of the sparrow's head and used a liner brush to paint streaks of dark gray, made by mixing titanium white and mars black, titanium white, and a mixed gray blue made by mixing zinc white, ivory black, and phthalo blue. I chose phthalo blue for its opacity, but I have to be careful with it because it can easily overwhelm other colors.
I took my gray blue color and, using a round brush, painted streaks of this color on the sparrow's chest.
I glazed ultramarine blue using a small round brush over the black feathers for extra shine.
I had a bit of trouble with the eye. I finally came to the conclusion that it needed touches of pale pthalo blue and titanium white highlights with a liner brush and a wash of transparent raw sienna over it to tone most of the highlights down. I used transparent burnt umber for the iris with zinc white to create shine. I went over most of the iris with van dyke brown to intensify it.
For the patch under his neck I mixed gray blue with mars black to darken it and painted this on using a filbert brush. Then I mixed van dyke brown with black, and using a round brush, painted small patches of this color. I was about to paint this whole area solid black, but I looked more closely and saw the blue and the brown. It goes to show you sometimes you have to literally look twice at a reference photo before you continue your own artwork.
For the beak I used various shades of gray made by mixing mars black and titanium white. I used my mixture of titanium white, mars black, and phthalo blue, with a little more ultramarine for the highlight along the middle. Then I went over the whole thing with a translucent gray made by mixing transparent mixing white and ivory black to blend everything together.
Here's the finished piece.
Here's footage of me working on this piece.
Painter of portraits and wildlife