Coal Tit – the Speedy Gonzales of the bird feeder
The Coal Tit is a regular visitor to the bird feeder, but no sooner does he appear, than he disappears. He is so speedy, quickly collecting the food in his beak and flying off to the hedge. Unlike the other birds he doesn’t eat at the bird feeder.
He soon returns to the feeder to collect more food and flies off again. I can only assume he is passing the food on, or storing it somewhere. He moves so quickly that, for reference, I’ve had to rely on one of my photos of him, for this watercolour.
Speedy bird and Speedy Artist
The Coal Tit watercolour has a depth of colours, giving the bird texture and movement. To achieve this fine detail there are hundreds and hundreds of brushstrokes of watercolour paint.
I use small sable watercolour brushes to create a fine feather effect. I work quickly, speedy just like the Coal Tit. No time is wasted and I keep adding layers upon layers of brushstrokes of watercolour.
Sable watercolour brushes
I have various sizes of professional sable watercolour brushes. I find the sable brushes hold a lot of water, so I can paint lots of brushstrokes, before going back to the palette. The brushes can paint broad strokes or thin pinpoints. They offer me a lot of control when painting with watercolours.
The sable brushes last a long time too, if you clean them after every use. They are the tools of the trade, so they have to be looked after.
No white paint, just paper
There is no white paint on the Coal Tit. All the white areas of the bird are the paper I have left unpainted.
Before I begin to paint, I have to already know which areas are going to be white. Therefore as I paint I make sure I leave these areas unpainted. There will be a few short brushstroke markings in the white areas to suggest feather movement. Also there are small areas of white (the unpainted paper) around the eye and beak.
I have to be very careful not to paint the small white areas of paper. If I paint them I cannot get the whiteness of the paper back.
It may be speedy, but it’s a perfectly formed Coal Tit.