Wednesday, August 23, 2023



After collecting quite a lot of references of Barn Swallows (mostly in my sketchbook), I decided to do a larger watercolor of a pair of them resting on the old dock. We don't usually see swallows on the ground so I felt this would make for a slightly more interesting painting. I wanted the birds in full sun which would I hoped, bring out the best in their plumage. The iridescent blue on the head and back looks dark in shadow but amazingly jewel-like in the sunlight. Since my earlier color studies were done in watercolor, I decided to do this one in the same medium but using transparent watercolor without any gouache - any white highlights would be pure paper showing through. My initial effort on the nearest bird was close to how I wanted it so I then worked on the background for a bit. Next I'll make a start on the second bird sitting slightly behind. I'm sure I will come back to this first swallow and do a bit more but for now, I'm happy with how things look and feel that I have at least made a reasonable start.

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