Painting Pansy Tea

Now that I have my reference material all composed, I am able to precede with my Pansy Tea painting.

Pansy Tea WIP 1 - Marie Cameron 2014

I like to sketch out my outlines with thinned oils on a white ground. I feel it helps me to maintain a clarity and vibrancy of color.

Pansy Tea WIP 2 - Marie Cameron 2014

I begin to block in a bit of color as I feel more confident about the way the drawing is going.

Pansy Tea WIP 3 - Marie Cameron 2014

Since the bird is the primary subject, I wanted to concentrate on it first.

Pansy Tea WIP 4 - Marie Cameron 2014

The next goal I had was to work the entire canvas (all twelve inches of it).

Pansy Tea WIP 5 - Marie Cameron 2014

Here I’ve built up highlights, shadows and details.

Pansy Tea WIP 6 - Marie Cameron 2014

I will continue along this path, adding glazes to tone down areas until I feel it has enough depth and presence.  Speaking of presence,  I see my little finch is looking more like a chubby chick!  Taking pictures as you go along is a great way of seeing your work in a new way. Let’s see what I can do about that tomorrow!


Making Pansy Tea

Those wild birds simply refuse to join me in the studio but through the miracle that is Photoshop I am able to integrate my birding photos with my still-life set ups. I can use my magic lasso and drag them about with my mouse, scale them up or down and even flip them if so required until they find their place in the composition. So immediate, so satisfying!  Here’s a tip though, make sure your light sources are coming from the same direction of you’re going to have to make it up on the painting side.

Now which one to choose?

Pansy Tea Prototype 1 - Marie Cameron 2014

Female Lesser Goldfinch

The overlapping of the pansies in the foreground help to anchor the bird in the space. I’m going to look at more reference photos for standing feet but this is enough to get me started.

Pansy Tea Prototype 2  - Marie Cameron 2014 web

Male and Female Lesser Goldfinch.

Cropping of the subject is a nice modern device and can balance out the male’s tail in the composition.

Pansy Tea Prototype 3 Marie Cameron 2014

I love how this one is all stretched out and peering beyond the image but will need some legs though as there is no longer a perch available.