Painting A House Sparrow
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.
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Painter of portraits and wildlife