Eastern Yellow Robin

The Story Behind the Painting

This little bird I found flying around my campsite and hopping from post to post catching little bugs. I’ve now painted a Red Robin from the UK and this time on the other side of the world the Australian Yellow Robin.

Robin on campsite marker

My Painting Process

I was looking at challenging myself to create something a little more realistic, and this time with a background.

I start by looking at all my bird photos I’ve taken over the past few years and what I think would make a nice painting.


If I create a nice artwork I then get worried when it comes to creating a background as this is often an afterthought and not always what’s in the photo.

So I thought this time I would mix things up a little and start with the background, like I do in oil paint.


I was looking for as much detail as possible while painting the post, even though its only about 3inch across it took me about 4hrs to paint.


Next I started painting the eye and then a rough grade of feathers on the bird concentrating on the head.

This always helps if you have a good quality photo to start with.


Next I started to paint the yellow breast feathers, which took about 5 coats of paint and lots of changes of water to keep the paint a vibrant Yellow. Note to self, buy an opaque yellow not a transparent one next time.

At about 10pm I finished painting the legs as my friend Kelsey said to me years ago “Most people neglect the feet, make sure you do a good job.”

I spent another 1.5hrs in the morning re visiting the feet, feathers and a few bits of the wooden post.


I signed my name and then decided to darken the whole background as I thought it was distracting from the bird. Also blue paint adds a bit of life and shine to the normally mat finish of black.

So this little Eastern Yellow Robin on a small A5 piece of paper took me 3 times longer than the squirrel that I painted the other day.

So much for getting faster the more I paint, I just get more detailed. My next step is to get some finer brushes.

I didn’t misspell my name the I in CHRIS is just faint and I’m about to fix it.

Do you have a favourite bird that you would like to see me paint?


Gouache Colour Palette

I use Winsor & Newton Gouache on Arches France Watercolour Paper, 300g Cold Pressed.

My painting come from my own experiences that I have lived and photographed while traveling. By reading this blog, you as a viewer can now hear The Story Behind the Painting. Where, when, what was happening while I was photographing the wildlife.
If you want more details about my adventures checkout my travel blog website www.ChrisOsborneAdventures.wordpress.com 

Enjoy, Chris Osborne

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