"A Little Grubby"
My husband fills bird feeders in our garden regularly. I place meal worms on a special old table we have near our living room window for our almost tame robin to feed from. We take great delight in watching him enjoy his little feast. But this year he has had competition at his private bird restaurant from a family of Blue Tits that have nested, successfully bred and fledged in our garden. These little blue and yellow birds choose the juiciest of meal worms and then sit on a barbed wire fence nearby to enjoy their stolen fare.
I have taken several photographs of the theiving taking place. And as the blue tits sit on the wire. they make delightful compositions for an artist. But I have yet to take a great shot of a meal worm in a beak where I can really see the beak well. Not just the grub. Hence the grub looking so all important in my new painting of a blue tit seen above.
I have opted to change the boring real green background of the field behind my subject. Instead I have chosen a lovely blue wash to harmonise with the wing colour of my little bird. And as we always place more bird food out in winter I have let a little snowfall enhance my composition.
Bird coming to life in watercolour
When painting, I found the bird in a blue "first wash" then added detail to bring it to life. As described as a technique in all of my books. As soon as the bird was successfully in place and recognisable as a subject I began to add the back outline by painting a negative edge here for me to work from.
I have some gorgeous photographs of these tiny birds holding caterpillar larva in their mouths but these don't work so well for me in my paintings. The meal worm did as it was shiny and I felt added interest to what the bird was holding.
We have now planted a hedge so we can't see the barbed wire any more and happily wild birds love to nest in it. But I quickly became entranced with painting wire as it is something I have never done before. I love the lost and found edges of the wire in this piece as the technique makes something so ordinary look quite glamorous!
Interesting lost and found edges make even barbed wire look beautiful!
I love my life. I never know what I am going to paint next and this piece was a complete surprise on my painting schedule today. But as I type a blue tit faces me on a branch outside my window with yes, a meal worm in its' beak as if to say
" Paint me again\"
And I just might!