oil painting · Technique

White Throated Sparrow

I find that if I start one of these little bird paintings around 10 a.m. and then take an hour lunch break (or two hour lunch break), I can come back the same day and usually finish the piece by 3 p.m. and have a well deserved glass of wine.  Or a nice walk, this winter season, I’ve been opting for the wine in all honesty. I have found that I do not paint well in the afternoon if I have a glass of wine at lunch. Go figure.

So, here is today’s little bird painting as I stopped for a lunch break. The iPad propped up above the painting is my photo taken during our last snowfall. Little bird is sitting on a twig of the dogwood tree. DSC00420

As always, I still reserve the right to make a few changes to this painting even though I have signed it. I’m not sure the photo I took of the painting represents the colors correctly. The one above is actually truer to the greens and yellows.

I’m still struggling to get the feet right. At this point, I’m still just suggesting feet.


I took the whole dogwood trunk and the snow in the crotch of the branch out. It just seemed to throw off the balance.  But the bird painting is not that green in it’s body in the actual painting. The photo is off and, I think, is “pushing” the blues which is amping up the green.

I’ve been playing around with a new medium: it’s a linseed oil out of Canada that is not supposed to yellow. Indeed it is very clear. Drying time is a little longer than some other medium I have used. I’ve not decided if I will stick with it or stay with the Gamblin Solvent Free Gel which I like a lot other than it makes drying time drag on…. Next I’m going to try something that may dry faster. We will see.




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