Amazon Parrots

I love to paint so very much, it brings happiness to my soul! Have I said this before? I will say it again and again!! 😀 This time I’ve tackled a painting of a pair of blue fronted amazon parrots. I’ve utilised a photo reference by Aschi who is an amazing photographer, he has so many great references I want to paint!!

Once again I have used my Winsor and Newton watercolour set. I love making up colours as I go along and just muck around with them really, its fun! Progress photos and descriptions are above each photo below, read on …

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First photo – I print out the reference to size, I can’t share the reference unfortunately due to copyright laws but if your wanting to see it for yourself just pop over to Paint My Photo (PMP) website and you can find it there as well as a whole bunch of other great material to paint from.

This painting is on A5, its a good size for me to get it finished especially when I am currently juggling other things. I’ve stuck down my paper to keep it flat during the painting process, if I don’t it will buckle from the water applications. I trace my reference onto my paper with a stylus and some tracing paper, then I rub it out – sounds crazy to rub out what I just did but I don’t want dark reference lines, I just need to see them enough to know where I need to go, I then begin painting.

I have several greens in my palette set but only one of them is the green that seems right for this project so throughout the painting process I make up other shades of green by mixing green with blues and greys. There are so many layers of feathers in these birds – so I am finding out as I go haha, whose idea was it to paint this! 😉 Using a liner brush I paint in the feather lines with grey, and when dry I wash in other colours over the top.


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Photo two – Once each section dries which doesn’t take long I reapply my washes and using the liner and I build up the depth with the feathers. For me I always work up to my darks and retain my lights. My intention with this painting was to have drips of colour coming off the birds, a hit an miss effect rather than having a completed bird so in this photo you can see I am already establishing this idea with my washes. To get the drip effect to work I lift my painting upright and let the watercolour drip down


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Photo three – I continue to build my layers, if I find an area is boggling my brain I move on to another section and go back to it later. Again I approach the second bird the same way, establish the feathers with line work and wash colours over the top. It was around this stage I started to see the birds needed some more yellow throughout to bring the birds out more


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Photo four – I have a piece of paper next to me so I can test my mixes of colour before I apply them to the artwork. I want to be sure I am getting the colours I want. I’ve added more washes to the second bird here and started to develop the hit an miss effect at the base. I am using just a couple of round brushes and a liner for the entire project


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Photo five – More layers and building, I’ve gone back to the first bird and added some more to him too. Adding some line indications to the feathers makes them appear more feathery without going overboard with detail. Second bird has been developed more here


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Photo six – I’ve pulled some blue from the top of the birds to the bottom to balance the colours more and make it more interesting and developed some drips. At first I didn’t know what colour I was going to do the background I thought I’d wait and see what pops up when I get to it. The birds have some ochre in their eyes so decided that’s what I need to use, and I begin washing it in and add some drips too


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Photo seven – The ochre needed something else and immediately I thought some pink to warm it up and it would compliment the other colours. I use my liner to emphasize the drips and other areas of the background effect


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Photo eight – final artwork! My painting needed me to put it down and come back to it again with fresh eyes on a new day, I could then see more things then that I needed to refine, more washes and depth added, I also darkened the pink in the background and blended both the ochre and pink some more. This photo below is a scanned in image with brighter colours than the progress photos above.


This painting is for sale on HolleyRyanArt

Also available on Merchandise – apparel, cases and skins, home décor, wall art, bags and stationery

Thanks for reading my blog on this painting, I love sharing my art and hope my explanations on how I go about things makes some sense, hopefully it helps with your art processes or even inspires you!


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