Experimenting with Tufted Titmice

Tufted Titmouse

Click to view larger.

My journal proved a good place to experiment this week with tufted titmice, dark backgrounds, and text. These birds often visit my feeders in winter, providing good opportunities for study. I thought I would sketch a few birds in different poses as time allowed, but after painting the bird on the left, I decided to take a different approach. I wanted to add big text and see whether I could get a bird to perch on the letters. It’s a little tricky to substitute letters for branches, but the bird on the right seems fairly convincing. I also wanted to try a dark background, so I experimented with different shades of blue, making swatches on a test sheet and holding them next to the birds to see what worked best. In the end, this combination of ultramarine and burnt sienna with a bit of water sprayed into the wet paint created a nice wintry effect. The letters are the reverse color mix, with burnt sienna dominating and some blue floated in to add a little weight. My next step will be to try the same techniques in a more careful painting— stay tuned!

9 thoughts on “Experimenting with Tufted Titmice

  1. Tufted Titmice are one of my favorite birds! I love how you perched them on the letters, and the way you did the background! Can’t wait to see what you do with them next!

  2. I love these! You caught the expressions and pose! I just recently did a page in my journal of these cuties. I enjoy watching them at my feeders as well. I hope you don’t mind that I borrowed your lettering idea. It just seemed to fit. Thank you for your posts and suggestions.

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