A kingfisher painted from a photograph taken in Australia -sadly these colourful birds are not common around Lake Geneva! I think I may have to accept my fate and give in to the fact that my precise style is going to take over with the watercolours too. This was intended to be a sketch and became much more realistic than I was aiming for!
I would have thought it easier to make things look realistic with pencils but doing this little watercolour sketch made me think twice about that. I'm not sure that I could have got those same dark values with pencil without a lot of layering. On the head I used Sennelier's Ivory Black which seemed to go on very dark in one layer - not wishy washy like some blacks can be. On the wings, I used Cobolt Blue, Indigo and Ivory Black and on the underside, a little Yellow Ochre and Cadmium Yellow Orange.
The main lesson I learned from this one was that I need to plan my painting more carefully and work out beforehand what effect I'm going for and how to achieve it to save time in the long run. Masking fluid was used for the eye and the lights on the feathers but a little more care on the latter would have saved me having to work on those to make them less obvious. On the positive side though, I have learned how much patience is needed and how important it is to wait between layers and leave things alone until absolutely dry. Even - and especially - when things go wrong!