Watercolour Wings: Adding Motion to a Painting

It’s important to me that my watercolour paintings be interesting. While my art is not about profound social commentary, it is important to me that even in a simple floral there be elements of intriguing colour and texture that lead your eye through the painting. I find so much joy in fascinating little pools of blended colour and quirky lost-and-found edges!

I’ve been trying also to push a little further in subject matter, adding a bit of “story” to a painting by introducing life. In the painting above, I was working on a much larger than life raspberry portrait and decided that a flurry of wings would bring the entire painting alive.

Knowing that my berries were much larger than life it would be important to keep the bird in proportion to the fruit, I paid attention to scale – or so I thought. Somehow in my focus to give a sense of motion, I got a little turned around and painted the bird smaller than life instead of larger – in direct opposition to the size of my berry. Oops.

I wasn’t discouraged; the bird is definitely in motion so that obstacle has been overcome. And I toyed with the idea of making my bird a hummingbird since they can be very tiny. But I decided instead to attempt my bird on a fresh piece of watercolour paper, and cut this painting in half (you can see the line where I sliced it prior to taking a picture), and I will use the back of this paper to paint something new.

I just love this bird, even in his incomplete state – don’t you just love his arched wings and tiny tucked-in feet?

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