Colin sent me this lovely painting he has done of a Bullfinch, he has based the picture on a Basil Ede painting of a few years ago in a book that he found in a second-hand store. Colin has asked me for a few tips to help him improve the painting. The picture was completed on sand coloured Ingres pastel paper and that is the colour you can see in the background at the moment.
The most obvious tip is to add a background and this presents problems, first of all how on earth do you get round all the flowers, twigs etc? Secondly what colours do you use and how would they be applied. I would start the background using 103 ivory. This would be generously applied one section at a time using your finger to rub the larger areas in and a colour shaper to cut into the areas against the subject making sure that there is no pastel paper showing through. I would then suggest that 230 cool grey is added to the whole background on top of the ivory and again rubbed well into the paper. Other colours such as 233 and 189 can also be introduced lightly into the background mix. The final effect would not be too far from Basil Ede’s original painting on the right above.
The pink body of the Bullfinch needs to be smoothed out, see the black arrows, this can easily be sorted by lightly erasing the edge and reintroducing the colours used checking the reference picture as you go.
The white makings on the wing need to be subdued as at the moment they look like stripes again this can easily be addressed using a colour shaper, the eye can be treated in the same way.
This picture is a joy and with those tips applied it will be a great study and Colin will be delighted with the results.