2018 Workshop Schedule. New workshops added! click here for details.
Visit my Patreon Page for more painting instruction

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Mini Pastel Demo ...Mountain Chickadee

'Mountain Chickadee'              5x7            pastel            ©Karen Margulis
sold

I was in the mood to paint birds today.  My usual set up for small bird or animal paintings is to sit at a table with my paper on a small piece of foamcore. This works well for 6x8 or smaller pieces. I decided to use Canson Mi-Teintes paper in the Moonstone color. I actually love Canson for painting animals.  It gives you a nice soft surface and allows for just enough layers to help keep the painting fresh.  I am sharing the few photos I took of my process. It is a quick process and was hard to remember to stop and take photos!



 My set up for today's painting.  My reference photo is on my iPad.  I put down a towels to catch any dust.  My pastels are in a butcher tray although my big studio box is on the table as well.  I chose a few pastels to help keep a limited palette.


After I did an initial quick sketch I block in the dark values on the bird and the branch.  I layer 2 or 3 dark colors to make these areas rich and colorful.  I put the highlights in the eye right away because the eye gives my bird life and I want to get it right! Besides it is nicer to look at while I paint!


I look at my reference photos and try to see what colors are in the feathers.  I know that the Mountain Chickadee looks grey, black and white, but I see lots of colors in his feathers. I see greens and gold undertones so I put them in now.  I exaggerate the colors a bit because I know I can always tone them down.  I also start to put in some of the darker background colors. I will lighten this some.


Next I put in the lightest colors. I use pale values of yellow and blue in the white areas of the bird. At this point I am almost finished. It is just a matter of finishing the background and tightening the details on the bird.  I also lost track of taking photos!  For the background I added some pale blues and yellows.



Finishing touches:  I uses a pastel pencil to define the beak and some of the darker feathers. I used a pale purple pastel to draw some distant branches. I dusted a bit of white pastel for some snow sparkle. 

2 comments:

Mariela said...

Lovely one...

Peggy said...

Beautiful little bird! I really like chickadees :)