View Full Version : Hummingbirds Times 8

04-03-2008, 05:56 PM

Title: Hummingbirds Times 8
Year Created: 2008
Medium: Watercolor
Surface: Watercolor Paper
Dimension: 15 x 22
Allow digital alterations?: Yes!

Thanks for taking a look!! This was sort of a fantasy piece for me and complex with so much going on. The background is a little greener than the photo shows. I would have liked to have more of them overlap, to give more unity to the piece. I felt that enough was going on with the birds than to try to do more foliage in the background. At this point I am trying to do interpretations of things that are not just a copy of a photo. Developing my own personal style is a goal; any input on that would be appreciated!! Some iridescent medium was used on some of the feathers. It is easier to see in the correct lighting.

1. I wanted to make the top right (largest) bird the focus. Does one need to always have a focal point? How can that be accomplished with a complex topic? How should a complex topic like this be approached?<br><br> 2. Any suggestions for the background?<br><br> 3. Should a value study always be done? I realize very skilled artists do not always do them. This hardly applies to me. But there were so many little areas of color/value, I couldn't seem to break them up into large value masses for a drawing. I just laid my sketches of the birds on the paper to get a design I liked. <br><br> 4. How can I be looser and develop my own style?<br><br> 5. THANK YOU for you help - your C & C are very important to me.

04-03-2008, 06:18 PM
I think the background is right for this sort of thing, you do not want to obscure or distract from the foreground subject. I have seen paintings without focal points. They can work quite well. Still I prefer a focal point. It is what snags your attention and then you can progress through the painting. The bird that you refer to is actually not the focal point. It is pretty much on the "Golden Mean" which usually would make it so. It's color however is recessive. That is all of the colors are cool, even the red is a cool red. Cool colors pull to the background. So thwe bird that is the focal point is itself almost on the other "Golden Mean" and its colors are bright and warm, they come to the foreground, they throw themselves at you...the yellow hummer does this. It is the focal point, the bird that first catches your eye.

The values should be simplified, dont try and figure out a value for each color. Figure out a value for each bird that will tell us along with the birds size wether he is near or far or further yet or nearer. Then make sure your color in each bird makes him hold his place. The further away the more muted, blue/gray the colors will be and their will not be hard lines nor excessive detail. The closer up the greater contrast the more detail and the brighter the color. These are general rules that apply in all painting subjects and will eliminate a flat depthless look. Nice hummers!

04-04-2008, 04:56 PM
Corby, thank you so much for the fine advice. Sometimes (ok, a lot) I get in over my head and try to do something more complicated. I realize that warmer colors are more of a focal point, and I should have considered that more in my planning. I like you ideas on a value for each bird (or object) in a painting to simplify. I was hoping to get more responses, but I realize most of the painters are more advanced here. Thank you so much for your time and input!!!

04-05-2008, 05:33 PM
Joy, I canít speak for others but I havenít been able to get to the computer as much as Iíd like to these days. I went back to look over your work and I feel Corby, has given you good advice, as he always can.
To help loosen you up, try painting with larger brushes. The challenge may be both fun and rewarding.
As far as the background, your birds are fine, but when you add the outlines around them, the birds take on a pasted appearance rather than being in an atmosphere.
Iíve included an example. By blurring the background rather than outlining the bird, the outcome starts to be more natural, should that be a look you would like.
I hope this helps, happy painting, keep up the good work!

04-07-2008, 12:47 PM
:D :) :D :) Hi, Lunchbox (You might want to give us a first name!) and thanks for the comments. I appreciate the time you took, because there is just so much on this site. :p :p :p :p I really like what you did with the background; that was good advice.

I was looking at your beautiful oils; you are quite accomplished. I especially liked the bloodhound and river bend in the west. :clap: :clap: