The red backed wren was photographed at Australia Zoo last year when I was walking around Bindi Island. I was watching the lemurs, when a flash of black and red wizzed past my head, narrowly missing me. In bird terms it was probably miles off, as it settled on a near by post.
The other two blue wrens were taken from inside the bird enclosure, and one of them was having a shower under the garden sprinkler.
How these little bird paintings came about you may ask, well it was by accident really. As you can see below is a full sheet of Archers cold pressed 300g paper, once torn into sheets you get roughly 6 A4 sheets and two small strips left over.
The A4 sheets I can use landscape or portrait, and the strips seem to work better as landscape, when painting animals.
I tore the paper down into some smaller almost squares and I found that these would be good for little birds, where my photos were not that clear to paint from. I also wanted to create some smaller artworks for people to purchase at a reasonable price, unfortunately the professional framing cost was almost the same for a small artwork as it was for a large.
In the end I went the opposite direction and gave people the opportunity to purchase 3 smaller artworks for the same price as a larger one. This also gives people another frame size to choose from to hang in their house.
The pencil out line is drawn as a start point, and I’m already wonder if I should draw leaves on the ground or would they be too distracting.
The first thing I painted was the feet, but at this scale it was very challenging to get a lot of detail.
I decided just to add a light wash as a shadow, this grounded the wren on the bottom of the page without having to add too much detail.
Then using blocks of colour I paint an undercoat on the wren.
Next I moved on to the tail where I spent a lot of time getting the two feathers right.
I worked on the eye, which is unusual as a general rule, this is one of the first things I normally paint.
Happy with the birds eye I moved onto the head, breast and wings. Then I changed the colour of the feathers under the birds eye about 3 times as I wasn’t happy with the colour. They were almost metallic and I was having trouble achieving this, in the end adding a little white seemed to do the trick.
A close up of my wren painting I just finished and then noticed a few minor highlights I was missing.
Finished wren ready for framing at Art Plus in Bundaberg.
Out of the three birds this is the most detailed, I used my super fine 10/0 brush for most of the birds fine feathers. Even with all this detail it was a rather nice bird to paint.
I’m rather impressed with the finished artworks, framed up in this beautiful frame.
I will definitely create another triptych in the future and maybe it will become a nice pair hung side by side in someone’s home.
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