20 September 2011

Year of Painting - cardinal

Here's what I did for this month's Year of Painting challenge, over on the Painting Friends forum, a study and a sketch (maybe I'll do a painting one day!). I'm not familiar with this bird other than from photographs (it's North American) but it looks fairly similar to the waxwings we sometimes see here in the UK in the coldest of our winters. Ref photo courtesey of mensatic at Art Morgue, thank you!

Both are around the same size, 8" by 6" (ish). I did the ink and wash sketch first; I went in with the paint first, putting down general areas of colour where I saw them, then refined with the pen, then back in with more paint. For the wc study I did a quick freehand pencil sketch first, followed by several fairly thin washes.

The ink and wc sketch was done very quickly, the wc study I took more time over. Having done the sketch definitely helped when I started the study (I did them side by side, on the same piece of paper).

Watercolour/watercolour and ink. 8" by 6".


  1. Lovely little bird sketches, Sharon. xx

  2. We have a lot of cardinals around here. You did capture the bird. This one looks like a female. The males are brightest red, a delight to see in a colorless winter landscape. They're a nasty bird though--very loud and very pushy--are a par with Blue Jays who they will do battle with for the seed in feeders. They also like to domineer the sparrows, but are usually outnumbered.

  3. I've seen lots of pictures of the males, they really are very eyecatching. The subtle colours of the female are just lovely. You'd never guess they were bullies, they look so pretty!

  4. sharon.. fun sketch.. love the pen and ink...


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