Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs
The colourful Chaffinch is todays watercolour sketch. You always know when a Chaffinch is about with their loud consistent chirps. As soon as you hear them it isn’t long before you spot the pink/peachy colours of this bird.
I decided to paint all the rear markings of the bird, because most of the time as soon as they spot me, they turn their backs, pause, then fly off. The Chaffinch is quite a cautious bird and it takes a while for them to accept my presence. These birds have always eaten the bird seed that falls to the ground, from the bird feeder, but recently they have started to eat from the bird feeder, when there are no other birds there.
Chaffinch watercolour process
Firstly I painted a blue wash on the bird’s crown, nape and tail, for a blue undertone. While this dried I quickly painted the peachy/ red tones of the bird’s cheeks and breast. Then I painted down the back of the bird, with a chestnut brown mix and then a dense green mix.
Now I needed to concentrate and used quite a dry black watercolour mix to paint the markings on the wings, leaving areas of the paper to represent the white. I had to work steadily with the paint brush so as not to make a mistake.
Finally I painted another layer of red wash on the bird’s cheeks and breast and then I painted a grey mix over the blue wash of the bird’s crown, nape and tail. I painted the grey in small brushstrokes and allowed the underlying blue wash to show through. This created a slate grey tone. The bird’s eye and beak were the last to be painted.