View Full Version : Rainbow Lorikeet

04-11-2015, 12:11 PM

I couldn't resist the wonderful reference photo by Pazza:

I kept taking pictures and turning it into black and white and honestly, the day was full of frustration :lol: I spent one hour :eek: working on the eye and I am still not sure if I like it.

I would love to know what you think, if any area seems to be too flat or otherwise wrong and what would you do with the background :)

Thank you very much for taking a look! It's Sanfix 11"x13"


04-11-2015, 12:40 PM
Nick, you painted the bird beautifully! And the eye is really well-done. What I would do is paint that brushlike flower more loosely; at the moment it distracts a bit from the bird, your COI. I would also use something else than that green for the background. It is too close in value and hue to the back feathers of the lorikeet. IMHO that greyish-blue you used below the plant would work better. I would consider using either a considerably lighter or darker value for the background to make the bird more visible. I've turned your pic into B/W, so you can see that there is basically no value difference at the moment:


I've played around with paint, just to show you how the bird would look with a light background:


04-11-2015, 01:03 PM
Hmmm, so I take it you don't buy the excuse that birds need to be able to hide in a forest? :D

Thank you very much, Dorothea :) I have only the red Sanfix and it always keeps me from using other colors than greens when it comes to background. I am not sure why.

04-11-2015, 05:15 PM
Nick, the bird is more beautiful than the reference. I rather like the unfinished background. Somehow it looks very wild. Good thing you have Dorothea to advise you and not me!!
You always do such beautiful work.

04-11-2015, 09:11 PM
I think Nick's rendition is very true to life. We have the dang things in our front yard every spring (yes they are beautiful but NOISY and messy) and I once had two of them as pets.

I am not sure if this helps, but it looks like the plant the bird is feeding on is a yellow bottle brush, of which there are lots of pictures here that may help you decide how you want to paint it, and what colour flower would be best, as it also comes in red (more common).


another tree they frequent is the grevillea, which is less spikey than the bottlebrush, you may like this plant instead?


Anyway, just some ideas to let you know that you are don't have to stick to the bottlebrush - nor that colour - and remain true to nature if you don't want to, if you'd rather give the bird a different plant.

It's lovely, well done

PS the eye looks true to life too

04-12-2015, 05:29 AM
I think your painting is lovely! I like the warm, tropical background. The light blue background is nice but gives a very different atmosphere. I think the main problem is with the composition. The flower and bird are two similar shapes, similar sizes and visual weights, at nearly the same angle on the page. One solution would be to shadow the underside of the flower, but I would even break the shape up further by putting some leaves over portions of it to create some interesting patterns. Dorothea's black and white photo is very helpful and makes me think you could successfully carry some mid to dark values under the bird and around under the flower to help give the impression that he is in lush, rainforest foliage. Your bird is perfect--absolutely beautiful!

04-12-2015, 06:20 AM
Thank you very much for all the suggestions :)

Donna, thank you for the photos. It must be lovely to see the trees in bloom! You are right, the birds are wonderful but noisy. I had enough just standing in front of their aviary in the Zoo ;)

I will think about your tips in the coming days because, honestly, right now I don't know how to approach the change. It's not just "you have the values wrong" (again ;)) but "paint something new" I am going to look up lots of photos to see what could work and will have to decide if I am up to the task lol
I thought the pose of the bird was perfect, but it seems that it doesn't work well after all.

Thank you again for your advice!

04-13-2015, 08:24 AM
Nick, I like the bird's pose. The flower's cylindrical, I'd suggest doing a strong modeling shadow on it since the white glints on the bird's back suggest sun from upper left. Work out the shadows and maybe cross part of it wt shadows, mid value blue-violet maybe. Right over what you have, loosely.

Then up where the green value of the forest is, patch of darker green and deep violet, just a few loose strokes darkening so the bird pops out more. Not a lot of work, just tweak the background, more on the left side upper left because it's fine to the right. Color divides subject from ground perfectly there!

You've done my favorite parrot-type bird of all, thank you! The grevillia just needs its shape modeled and maybe broken up a bit with blue-gray-violetish mid value shadows.