So happy to get to my first painting of the white hummingbird I had so gleefully stalked with my telephoto at the Arboretum in Santa Cruz a few months back. I have lots of plans for all photos I took of him but I wanted to start with something for my Birds & Teacups series. I paired him with a white Limogues T&V demitasse, which is a delicate and glowing as the bird, and a magnolia grandiflora bloom. If I’s wanted to be matchy-matchy I might have painted whit ivy, which seems to be depicts on the handle of the demitasse, but there’s enough magic and mystery going on in this image and I really loved the the scale of the flower compared to the bird and the cup.
Quick oil sketch in rose and vilolet tones.
Blocked in a whole lot of loose color, working largely dark to light.
Placing more halftones and highlights.
Good day’s work but I ran out of daylight and objectivity. By Monday I should have more of both!
For those of you who have been following my Birds & Teacups series, you must know my process by now:
antique teacup ✔
matching bouquet ✔
combine above and wait for a bird (or two) to fly in and pose while I shoot with dramatic lighting ✘
combine above and shoot with dramatic lighting ✔
take pictures of local birds ✔
add birds (in a naturalistic way) into the still life using photoshop ✔
paint the heck out it ✔ ✔ ✔
But yesterday was something new…a scrub jay was busy caching acorns about my yard and I thought it would be a great opportunity to get a shot of the bird with the actual teacup I had planned on pairing it with. Usually I try to scale the bird to the teacup with the measurements listed on birding sites but this was going to give me a real life comparison, if only I could get them in the same shot! I filled the teacup with birdseed and acorns and retreated to my studio stoop with my telephoto lens on my camera. I had only a few minutes to wait before there was some interest…
…of course the jay wasn’t the only one who likes a tea party !