The Finished Cliff Swallow Painting

 I’m now finished with this first swallow painting (I’m planning two more).  I did more detail work on the bird – especially delineating the feathers in the wing, added more color and value contrast to the background, and finished – and added to – the weeds.

So here are the suggestions from Victoria Brooks that I found so helpful:

First of all, she mixes all of her colors first.  It’s a bit of a pait, but when you finally start to paint it’s a lot easier, plus you know that you have good colors that coordinate.

Second, she first loads her brush lightly with Liquin each time she loads her brush with paint.  This gives a lovely smooth texture to the paint, makes the paint go further, and helps it dry faster.  I was amazed that the Liquin, in these small amounts, didn’t dilute the paints making them transparent.  They were still quite opaque and covered each other well – better, in fact, than with the paints straight from the tube.  I think that may be because you only have to use the lightest touch for the paint to flow from the brush.

Third, she likes to add pink for a warm glow.  I added just a bit to the background and a slight touch of Permanent Rose to the Burnt Sienna on the cheek.

Oh, and I should have added that she tones her canvases with thinned Burnt Sienna.  I did that also, and very much liked working on that warm, light to mid-tone background rather than white.

So, thank you Victoria!

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