Tag Archives: watercolour birds

Bird of Paradise – Watercolour


The Bird of Paradise – Papua New Guinea

Bird of Paradise watercolour by J.K.Leahy. 420mm x 297mm on 300gms paper.

Papua New Guinea has over 30 species of the Bird of Paradise. I am currently painting this study of the male Lesser Bird of Paradise.

Painting the white feathers is simply not painting the watercolour paper with any pigment. It is not easy to add backwash to enhance the white feathers without completely covering the white paper. I didn’t want to tape or mask it out to add extra challenge…

I think my next one would be better. What do you think?

Birds Frolicking: Watercolour


dscn0576

Painting in negative first or negative painting was a skill I accidentally discovered when I painted this watercolour. It happened during my early years of painting watercolour in 2008. This work slowly took form as I tried to figure out how to leave almost half of the paper in white to reveal the pelicans.  All I needed to do was give the birds the water and some background. YouTube makes it so easy these days. You can also learn to paint in the negative very quickly on Pinterest.

I gave this painting away as a gift to a dear friend, but it was an important work of technique discovery for me. It is also a study that I would like to paint again some day.