Thursday, July 30, 2009

The glass Hummingbird feeder

Well I've taken the plunge. I eventually decided on an almost clear glass but with just a tint of bluey green to pick out the background colours and a pinky red for the glass flowers. I am pleased with the result. It makes the feeder a feature but without it dominating the tiny hummers. I need to redraw the chain before I paint it as it is slightly off centre at the moment and then its just to two Hummingbirds left to do. I've included a close up of the feeder so you can see it more clearly.


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Decisions, decisions

I have been plodding on with the foliage. It has taken me ages but at last I have got the effect that I wanted with the darker more dense foliage in the right hand section enhancing the lighter area to the middle left as you look at it on the screen.I am now trying to decide what colour to paint the glass in the feeder. I flit between an almost clear glass with just the petal feeder sections in red glass or more of a pinky red colour for all of the feeder. I suppose i'm just going to have to take the plunge and decide.


Friday, July 24, 2009

Hummingbird painting WIP 3

I thought you'd like to see the chubby little male hummingbird that I've just painted. My daughter thinks he must love the food in the feeder. He has such a round little tummy and his tiny tongue is already flipping out ready for his next feed.

Again he is much smaller in my painting than in this photo, only 7cm, but if you click on the photo it's easier to see the detail this way. I will be a while now painting all the rest of the leaves on the right hand side of the painting which I am determined to do before I start on the feeder and last two birds. I'll post my progress again when I have started on the feeder.


Thursday, July 23, 2009

Hummingbird painting WIP 2

It's been a rainy day here so I have had plenty of opportunity to paint. I have worked on the foreground leaves and painted the second hummingbird. This is the impatient one (there is always one in any queue) so my challenge was to make her wings looked blurred leading us to believe her tiny wings are beating even faster than the others. The third hummingbird is the male so I am really looking forward to painting him next and adding that characteristic splash of red.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Hummingbird number 1 is done!

I've painted the first of the 5 hummingbirds in the painting today. Above is the far left hand side of the painting. The female hummingbird in the painting is only 8cm from the tip of her beak to the tip of her tail. The photo below if you click on it is 5 cm larger than she really is so you can see her more clearly on the screen. I needed a very small brush.. but that's ok I have plenty of those. I'm off to paint a couple of the foreground leaves now.


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Amazing hummingbirds

Inspired by my husband James's wonderful photographs of a male and female ruby throated humming bird (two of which you can see below) I just knew that these magical birds had to be on my list of things to paint.

James and I have loved watching the hummers come to our feeders over the last couple of months, flitting in at high speed, hovering and feeding and then leaving. We have often greedily wished more than the one pair would use the feeders. This gave me the idea for my painting. At the beginning of the season when food was scarce the male and the female both loved the convenience of the feeder. We mixed up a 3:1 sugar solution which was rich in energy for them.... definitely high calorie food on the go, sort of like a fast food drive through for us.... so I decided to create a painting using the idea of a 'Fast food fly through'. I wanted to create a drive through queue but with flying/hovering hummingbirds waiting patiently or impatiently for their turn at the feeder. Its taken me a couple days playing around with different compositions using photoshop. The painting will be 14 by 30 inches. I just need to draw in my background now which will be overhanging leaves. I hope this will help to give scale to the tiny hummingbirds.


Monday, July 13, 2009

A Bleeding Heart

Here is my new painting.

You have to imagine that I have a Bleeding heart flower in my hand as I tell you this tale. Fascinated by reading a shortened version of this story I just had to expand on it and capture the emotion of it in a painting. It is painted on nearly a full sheet of Saunders Waterford cold press paper. On a passing glance it looks like the girl is crying a tear of blood but when you look closer you can see what is really in the tear drop. To understand why let me tell you the story of the Bleeding Heart.

Once upon a time there lived a beautiful princess. Young men from far and near came to try to win her heart. But the princess was very vain and ignored them all. A young prince from a neighboring country fell deeply in love with her. She ignored him like the others, though he tried and tried to win her love. One day the prince found a pair of pretty pink rabbits at the market. At this point, I pull off the two outer pink petals and set each on it side to show the animals. He sent them to the princess thinking, "these will surely melt her heart." But the princess continued ignoring him. Then the prince sent her a pair of beautiful earrings. Next I separate the two inner white petals and hold them up next to my ears. Still the princess would have nothing to do with him. The young prince was so heartbroken that he took his dagger and drove it into his heart. The remaining centre of the flower in my hand is shaped like an outline of a heart with a line down the centre. I hold the heart up, remove the dagger-like line, and plunge the "knife" through the heart's centre. The princess, realizing too late that she did love the prince, cried out, "My heart shall bleed for my prince forever more!" and her heart bleeds to this day.