I love painting bird nests. Pastels are the perfect medium for painting nests. You get to use the pastels sticks as a painting tool for the larger areas and as a drawing tool for the weaving of the nest. You can use both hard and soft pastels and paint and draw. What could be better! It is easy to get caught up with the details of the nest materials too soon so I follow the same procedure I use for all of my paintings. I work from big simple shapes down to the details and from dark rich color to the lighter colors. Read the details of this painting below:
Building a Bird Nest
- I am working on LaCarte paper. I begin with a light drawing with a Nupastel. I am careful to have a light touch. The paper is easily dented and cannot get wet (but I love it)
- I block in the darkest areas with bold side strokes. I use several colors all the same dark value. No small pieces of straw yet...just the big underlying bold shapes.
- Next I block in all of the light shapes and the eggs and leaves. Once the entire paper if filled with the big shapes blocked in I am ready to start weaving the nest. I start with the darkest color 'straw' and weave my lines in and out like a bird. I will alternate harder pastels and softer ones so I can get a variety of lines. I gradually use lighter and warmer and brighter pastels making sure I give definition to the nest and keep consistent with the lighting.
- To finish the painting I work on bringing the eggs to a finish and add some warmer leaf shapes.