Rose-Breasted Grosbeak

Rose-breasted grosbeak. Michele Clamp. Watercolor 14”x11”


Rose-Breasted Grosbeak


250.00

14”x11”/20”x16” with mat.

Always love the color combination in these birds. A mixture of bold and subtle contrasts.

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Haven’t done a bird in a while and fancied something with some strong contrasts. This one never disappoints.

Some intermediates


The drawing. For once I carefully measured the length of the bird with respect to the body – 5 bird heads high.


The initial washes. Very light and I make sure I splosh through the edges to give a fuzzy underpainting. I only take care to avoid the eye area where I want to keep the white paper.


The next layer of the bird. A lot of this will be the final layer apart from the finishing darks. It often looks a bit meh at this stage.


Almost there. The feet and the branch are in and I’ve darkened up the head and put detail in the eye.


Done. A little light shading around the shoulders to bring out the white and a little touch of white gouache in the eye to bring back the sparkle.

Inca Tern

Inca Tern. Michele Clamp. Watercolor. 11”x14”

Feels a bit strange going back to the birds. I’ve been doing so many tightly composed city and landscape scenes that a single bird on the page feels like something is missing. That’s not to say that it’s easier though. Getting the pose right and tying the body to the plain(ish) background still take quite a bit of thought.

He came out rather handsomely though I think.

Edit: Forgot an intermediate photo.


This was after the drawing and the first wash being careful to brush through the outlines to create some fuzziness in the edges and to tie the bird to the white background.

Avocet

Avocet. Michele Clamp. Watercolor 14”x11”.


Avocet


300.00

14”x11”/20”x16” matted.

A very muted piece but has a lot of presence.

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Sometimes things just work. I wanted the colors to be muted on this one so the stance of the bird, its markings and reflections stood out. And it all came together. Happy camper.