|Putting in a light underpainting of orange to help harmonize the heron with the background and finishing the face|
Deciding on the background and painting the main features are important first steps. It is the eye of the bird that brings it to life. I want to be sure I get the eye right. I like to focus on the eye and beak area since it is usually the area of focus.....we are drawn to the face. It also is disconcerting to try to paint a bird with no eyes! So they go in first.
I also like to at least begin the background. First because the colors you have in the background will effect how the colors will appear in the bird so if I were to wait until the end of the painting and then throw in a background, all of the color relationships I have already established will change. I need to work on the background at the same time as the bird.
Waiting to put in the background at the end can also lead to the bird looking cut out and pasted on a background. It is hard to get them integrated. We are often too tentative around the edges of the finished bird and might even end up with a halo effect.
|Midway through the painting process|
If you would like to paint a bird or animal using the step by step method I use you may be interested in my demo download on painting animals. The demo is a cat but the technique can be used for any animal Check out the painting demo in my Etsy shop here