Birds of Michigan: Robin

I decided to tackle a robin. He turned out okay, but I want to work more on the background. Here’s the start of it.

Robin,original oil painting of Michigan bird

Birds of Michigan: Robin, original oil 11 X 14

He’s a hungry fella, and is busy eating a bug as robins like to do. I enjoyed creating a bright light atmosphere around him; I wanted the feel of a sunny day. The feathers in the front were a mix of cad. yellow deep, orange, cad. red light, and alizarin, with shadows in ultramarine blue and alizarin. The brown and gray feathers were a mix of burnt sienna, ultramarine blue, black and hints of yellow ochre, with varying mixes of titanium white. The grass was a mix of sap green, ultramarine blue, lemon yellow, and white mixed in.

I’ll finish the background this week. It was fun doing a sunny painting, since it’s been cold with snow on the ground outside.

How to Paint a Barn with Oils: Part 1

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! If I had thought about it, I would have painted a wild turkey for today…a few weeks ago, there were tons running around everywhere. Now, they are all gone, in hiding. Smart birds.

I’ve decided to paint a barn; I plan to keep it fairly “loose”. In painting a landscape, I like to start with the background, or sky, first. After all, the trees will have their branches against it. So…here’s the start:

How to paint a barn, lesson 1, sky blocked in

Michigan Barn, sky getting blocked in

I like ultramarine blue, so I created the sky areas with a mix of this and titanium white, deepening the sky further up in the painting. I then created the clouds, painting wet into wet, with a mix of yellow ochre, dioxide purple, brown and titanium white. I added bits of blue as well, and brushed the clouds in to make them soft and give depth.

In the next lesson, I will be working on the barn and foreground. Hope you had a wonderful holiday!