These beautiful tiny birds boast the most beautiful colours.

They have an iridescent quality and for that I used interference acrylic. It does not really show up too well on my website but it gives a very good iridescent quality to the real painting.

They also like a wonderful plant, the bougainvillea, which also boasts some wonderful bright colours. This is really a mixed media painting where I used graphite pencils, watercolour pencils, watercolours and acrylics.

I drew the bird first, and I have scaled it up. I drew in the shapes of the flowers, vaguely as I intended to use wet on wet fading into the distance so only the flower the bird was feeding from was vibrant.

I painted the bird first. I worked in glazes, from light to dark, and used a wide variety of colours including: yellow ochre (beak) cerulean blue and cobalt blue (to of head and throat), chromatic black (eye and surrounding area, claws), rose madder (side of head), light purples (wings) lemon yellow (initial glaze on wings, which was 100% dry when I applied the subsequent purple layers), sap green (side of body and tail end). I added my interference acrylic to all my mixes of colours. Painting the bird took me two days, using fine brushes and lots of patience!

I used a watercolour pencil to impress draw the little marks on the bird, whilst my paint was damp.

For the background I worked wet on wet using watercolours. I had varying washes of crimson and rose madder prepared and also some mixes of greens. I mixed the colour using cerulean blue and lemon yellow. Working wet on wet is great fun. The effects you can achieve know no bounds.

All you need to do is:-

Have all your washes ready and have plenty of clean brushes and clean water ready.

Have a cloth ready to wipe any excess water from the brush.

Secure your paper to a board so you can tilt it if necessary.

Wet the paper twice with a large brush. Let that soak into the paper (takes one to three minutes depending on weather conditions).

Use your lightest washes first and tint the paper, this wash is so light it looks like the colour of the paper.

Keep working and building up colours.

When you have achieved the tone you require stop!

The paper will remain damp for sometime so as you work you will start getting hard line. Which you do require on the elements on the foreground. So the whole process of wet on wet works in an artists favour.