See Molly Create
The journal that this archive was targeting has been deleted. Please update your configuration.
Navigation
« Monogrammed Door Decor | Main | Charming DIY Bedside Table »
Monday
Feb252013

Painting the Blue-Grey Tanager


When I started working on my pieces for the 12x12 Art Show & Silent Auction, I knew I wanted to paint a Nicaraguan bird.  Luckily, Nicaragua is home to 698 different bird species!  I decided on a Blue-Grey Tanager, which is found throughout Central America.  In a previous post that explains this charity art show I had promised a tutorial for this piece, here it is! You can read more about this charity art show on my Hope Comes in Color Post.

I used oil paint for this piece so that I was able to layer paint and create a "feathered" look.   I started by sketching a basic outline of the bird.

The next step is to go in with your dark paints and start to build the contours and crevices.  Now you might be saying "wait, I thought this was a blue bird?". That is the beauty of painting with oils! By starting with these dark colors we are going to build layers that add depth and shadows.
If you are using a reference photo, make note of the darkest areas.  Think of your painting as a "color by number".  Don't be afraid if your painting looks too dark, we will lighten it later. You will have to let this layer dry before going in with your blue paints. Oil paint takes much longer to dry than acrylic, it might take a few days before you are ready to paint again.
Once your base layer is dry it's time to add your primary color layers.  Because oil paint is transparent, you will find that your dark areas stay dark! Again, think of the color by numbers, use darker blue for the areas of contour, and lighter colors for highlights.
 For the branch, I alternated long and short brush strokes and different browns, black, and white paint.
 Our little bird is starting to look like a Tanager!
I knew I wanted a basic background.  I chose a green wash.  By mixing green and white on your palette and adding some turpentine, your paint will "wash" onto the canvas.
I continued to go back and add highlights in white.  One of the most drastic highlights you can add is a simple dot of white in the eye. You will be amazed how much life it brings to your piece!
 Close up of the face


Hope you enjoyed this tutorial! I would love any feedback!

M.  

References (3)

References allow you to track sources for this article, as well as articles that were written in response to this article.
  • Response
    Great Website, Maintain the fantastic work. Thanks a ton.
  • Response
    Response: online video games
    Painting the Blue-Grey Tanager - See Molly Create - Molly Creates
  • Response

Reader Comments (2)

This is wonderful! I've been wanting to have another go at my college painting work, and you've reminded me about all of the basics of oils. Love this little guy - thank you.

February 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCM

Thanks so much for the feedback! I hope this is helpful! Have fun!

February 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMolly

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Post:
 
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>