View Full Version : Varied thrush and robin WIP.

04-19-2017, 12:54 AM
I hope to do a series of local birds through the seasons starting with the remains of winter. The first one is a Varied Thrush that stayed for a short time at the beginning of winter as long as the frozen apples held out. The problem for them being that when it snows, it really snows and buries all the food. It was quite cold and the bird was fluffed up against the cold.


04-19-2017, 06:17 AM
A good start - the picture tells a story already, it certainly looks cold with that wintry blue background and I like the roundness of the thrush. :)

chammi kaiser
04-19-2017, 08:13 AM
Watching with interest Jon. Thanks for sharing.

04-19-2017, 11:47 AM
Thanks Kay; the frozen apple flesh is just about the same colour as the bird!

04-19-2017, 11:47 AM
Thanks for looking in Chammi.

04-19-2017, 11:49 AM

04-19-2017, 11:53 AM
Great start and work thus far on this WIP!

04-19-2017, 11:55 AM
Thanks Kay.

chammi kaiser
04-19-2017, 01:10 PM
Wouldn't mind a bite of that apple myself.! Looking really great Jon.

04-19-2017, 06:43 PM
Thanks Chammi: I'll leave a few bites for you at the end of the piece.:wink2:


04-20-2017, 12:05 AM
Beautiful work so far.

04-20-2017, 11:44 AM
Thank you Christel.

04-20-2017, 11:49 AM
A bit of background and some work on the bird's details.


chammi kaiser
04-20-2017, 01:17 PM
Looking really nice Jon. Can't wait for my chunk of the apple.:D

04-20-2017, 02:01 PM
What a pretty bird! Nice job.

04-21-2017, 12:46 AM
Well done!

04-21-2017, 12:50 AM
Chammi, I hope he leaves some for you, but at the rate he's going, it looks like it will still be there in the spring!

04-21-2017, 12:54 AM
Thank you Crista,

They are the same size and colouring as the robin, but the colours are in a different arrangement. I hope to do my next one of a robin and probably just add it to this thread so we can compare body structure and colouring as well.

04-21-2017, 01:01 AM
Thanks Christel,

Still a bit to do on the foreground with apple bits strewn around and a bit of work on the base of the grass clumps, as well as maybe a couple of feet so he/she can get a bit closer to the dinner table!!:lol:


04-21-2017, 04:12 AM
Contrast achieved is super... Keep going

04-21-2017, 05:47 AM
this is looking really good. I like the work on the plumage - lovely contrast of warm and cool colours on the same bird - and the grass poking through the snow is a nice addition. :thumbsup:

04-21-2017, 06:50 AM
This is really nice and I've thoroughly enjoyed following the evolution. Thank you for sharing.

04-21-2017, 10:49 AM
Really looking sharp now!

04-21-2017, 11:36 AM
Lovely colours. An excellent snapshot of a visiting bird.

04-21-2017, 01:58 PM
Looking great so far, they are far more colourful than our thrushes:cat:

04-21-2017, 11:42 PM
Thanks Fedetony, Kay M., Kay, Penny, & Lisa. I'm going to carry on in this post with a robin next.

04-22-2017, 01:51 AM
Very good

04-22-2017, 10:58 AM
Thanks Robert.

04-22-2017, 10:44 PM

This is the beginning of the robin painting. It is an 'American Robin' as opposed to a variety of others in different regions. This is another late winter presentation with the birds arriving as they do annually, however, this year was a late spring with lots of snow and freezing temperatures to make their foraging a bit more problematic than it is normally.
I took several photos of this one beside the road which had a bit of a water course partially iced over in the ditch. Little to no activity on this occasion since I was getting off night shift and it was quite early in the morning and nothing was thawing out too quickly...I watched for several minutes as the robin foraged a bit but mostly changed positions and watched for signs of life in the decaying leaves from the previous autumn. Lots of photos taken before it decided to move away.

04-24-2017, 10:36 AM
A bit more background. I'll put in a few musical notes to see if he/she will start singing. :music: :wink2:


04-25-2017, 12:22 AM
Great start to your robin. I've changed the heading for you.

04-25-2017, 01:08 AM
Thank you Christel; I thought to do several local birds since they are small projects and not as time consuming.


chammi kaiser
04-25-2017, 01:13 AM
Looking wonderful so far. I am watching with delight. Thanks so much for sharing Jon.

04-25-2017, 09:35 AM
Such beautiful birds you have in Canada. I love seeing the progression of your paintings, as a beginner it's really informative to see how a painting progresses.

04-25-2017, 10:56 AM
Thank you Pam; after browsing your Flickr Gallery I see you are not referring to yourself as a beginner!! Excellent variety of subject matter and painting skills!

04-25-2017, 10:58 AM
Thanks for commenting Chammi.

04-26-2017, 01:37 AM
A bit more background detailing.


04-27-2017, 12:32 AM
Looking good so far.

04-27-2017, 11:10 AM
A bit more background detailing.


04-28-2017, 01:33 PM
A bit more background.


04-29-2017, 03:26 AM
A bit more reflection with some grass under water.


04-29-2017, 05:51 AM
This is looking great Jon! I love the reflections.

04-30-2017, 01:18 AM
Thank you Kay...of about ten photos this is the only one that had a reflection but the bird moved around several times so the bird casting the reflection is from the same series but not from the same photo, leaving me to get the bird details from a more focused pose. I'm thankful there was a bit of unobstructed access to the water.

chammi kaiser
04-30-2017, 02:27 AM
Excellent work on those grasses Jon. I like the reflection a lot. Watching with delight.

04-30-2017, 10:40 AM
Love this... your painting always amaze me. I don't know how you do it, but keep at it.

04-30-2017, 09:11 PM
Wow, both of these are wonderful!

Will check back on the Robin, thanks for sharing your WIP it helps to see how others paint from start to finish..... watching with delight :)

I just love watching the birds at work/play.... The Redwing Blackbirds are back, and saw a Robin several days ago.... Love watching the Redtail Hawks soaring the skies too... The Meadowlarks have already started their songs as well.... and then just because it's Colorado winter finally made an entrance on Friday and Saturday, we got about a foot of snow out here on the plains east of Denver... lol.... that's more than we had all winter!! Today it's back to warming up and the snow is melting fast!!

05-01-2017, 12:16 AM
Thanks Chammi for your interest (in spite of your repairs!) Quick recovery.

05-01-2017, 12:26 AM
"I don't know how you do it, but keep at it."

Thank you Dwight! I usually just put the closest colour to the original and daub it on with the brush wherever the drawing suggests. Acrylics are nice to work with for this kind of work on watercolour paper. I find it very easy to work with; a bit easier than watercolours. Simple to work out any do-overs if the drawing needs change or the colours need adjusting.
I enjoyed your beautiful carving of the kingfisher in the "sculpture forum". Great job!!

05-01-2017, 12:32 AM
Thank you Karen for your comments. I've been taking lots of pics around town. We have a lot of migrants that are coming off the ocean this time of year...ducks, geese, loons, and swans. Quite a few shore birds too that pass through. The mountain bluebirds show up along the salt chuck shoreline for a week or two before they move on. Quite a menagerie of seasonal visitors and I have the camera with me at all times.

05-01-2017, 02:58 AM
I think the water and reflections are finished and I'm starting on the main character.


05-02-2017, 04:19 AM
"Here's lookin' at ya!"


05-03-2017, 03:17 AM
Almost complete. A bit more detailing on the feathers and then to add a couple of feet and it should be finished.


05-03-2017, 12:17 PM
Thank you Pam; after browsing your Flickr Gallery I see you are not referring to yourself as a beginner!! Excellent variety of subject matter and painting skills!

Thank you Jon. Everything in my gallery (except for the last couple of months) is digital artwork. I am very much a beginner in the traditional use of paints and pencils. I'm really enjoying seeing how traditional artists such as yourself approach painting, it's so different and far more skilled to anything I've done digitally.

05-04-2017, 03:08 AM
Thank you Jon. Everything in my gallery (except for the last couple of months) is digital artwork. I am very much a beginner in the traditional use of paints and pencils. I'm really enjoying seeing how traditional artists such as yourself approach painting, it's so different and far more skilled to anything I've done digitally.

There certainly are numerous options for doing your art and lots of helps with people willing to encourage as well as show differing approaches on this site. There are also many helps that you may stumble on without even searching so there are options that we are all able to grow with in our browsing the different forums.

This is the finish of the robin.


05-04-2017, 12:10 PM
Love it. Well done, Jon

05-06-2017, 12:28 AM
Thank you Christel.