Day 47: Rainbow Lorikeet, part 2

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Rainbow Lorikeet (Watercolour)

Rainbow Lorikeet (Watercolour)

Does anyone have any enlightening and wise advice on painting backgrounds? I spent an hour or so this afternoon trying to make the one here work and I’m less than thrilled with the results…

I began with a simple plan in mind, as mentioned yesterday, not to think too much during the process and just throw some paint in, not getting hung up on detail. A few areas of the bird received another glaze and some extra detail without any pain and he got a branch to hold with his new foot.

Unfortunately, despite (or maybe because of!) lots of mixing, all the greens of the leaves came out the same and I lost the brilliance of the earlier stage.  A (dubious) benefit of this was the opportunity to experiment with some repair work, lifting out a few areas with clean water and a little cotton wool to suggest lighter leaves.

That’s where I stopped. I think my idea of not planning needs to be planned better as I’m not seeing well enough for it to work instinctively. I realised too late that leaves needed to go across his belly as his second leg was behind foliage that I hadn’t accounted for. I’m also beginning to see that the lighter values of yesterday’s wash actually made the lorikeet pop out more and painting a darker background, as in the photo, doesn’t work nearly as well.

So, I’m looking forward to the next challenge, and the chance to develop these skills. A great quote I read today by Jean Haines is reminding me to stay positive:

No matter who you are as an artist or where you are in your art journey, you always believe your next painting will be better!