If you love nature and you love to recreate what you see and experience in watercolor, there couldn't be anything more fun than diving back into a subject and watching it come to life in a painting. When it comes to birds, that could also mean tripling and quadrupling your fun!
Painting this sketch had the same effect. I smiled a lot. And when you're smiling there is no worry about outcome. You're just loving your subject and loving the opportunity to give it center stage. And there's a number of ways to create that stage, among them, painting light against dark, soft against hard, and color that leads the eye through the painting. I often approach these elements intuitively
The hummer is next, creating wings that have a fairy-like movement of 40 to 80 beats per second.
To soften edges on the hummer's wing, I laid down paint strokes, rinsed my brush, blotting excess water from the brush with a sponge or paper towel, then brushed along the edge of the paint. The paint edge is softened by the moisture from the brush. The amount of water you leave in the brush controls how far the pigment will spread from the original line.
One way to suggest hummer wing movement is illustrated below--a combination of disconnected shapes, blurs, a mix of hard and softened lines.
Below is the almost finished sketch, created in one of my favorite sketchbooks made by Aquabee, on 11 x 14 paper. What made me realize it wasn't quite finished was a glimpse at an LCD image on my camera that highlighted the widely separated gold areas.
You may already know how this dictate-from-the-eyes feels. It's a sensation that is visually uncomfortable, that is, it bothers until the correction is made. And when it's right, you know it--your eyes are happy again. See what you think by comparing the finished sketch below to the one above.
To see more of my hummingbird sketches visit Ruby-throated hummingbirds and my Art Cards and Prints Page. Scroll down to the Hummingbird Collection.
Other links you may find helpful:
Ann K Lindsay's website
A source and more details about Aquabee Sketch books