A beautiful little bird, drinking water, perching on a log: a fantastic composition to paint or draw.  

I turned the watercolour paper landscape to make my mirror image drawing. It is much easier to paint that way instead of trying to replicate a shape in reverse vertically. The drawing took me three quarters of an hour. I then thought about what medium I would use for this painting, I was conscious it was for a demonstration in a drawing class.  In the class I used watercolour pencils to first draw the birds, using a wide range of all my blue and yellow colours. You do need to work in layers with watercolour pencils. If you just use one layer of colour it can look flat, and not give any 3D effect. Using pencils is far more labour intense than paint, but it does make you concentrate on producing bright colours. 

I then painted in the background. That is when this started to become a mixed media painting. I used acrylics, watercolours, watercolour pencils and graphite pencils. I used a wide palette on the log, to achieve 3D effect for the actual log, not the reflection. Palette: raw umber, burnt umber, green, purple and red.  

I mixed a variety of greens from the palette I had and painted in the foliage behind the bird. I then worked the background wet on wet. I wet the paper twice, let the water soak into the surface and took a very large brush and used my washes from my original palette to drop in random washes of yellow, green, brown and red.  

I let the paper dry completely. I then used a hake brush to glaze over the reflection in the water. I used a very light blue I had mixed using zinc white acrylic and ultramarine acrylic. Once that was dry I added a tiny amount of zinc white around the little beak to draw attention to that focal point.