About once a month I get the urge to paint a hummingbird. I’m going to show you how I painted the last five I have done, all of which are very different one from the other. So let’s look at Five Ways to Paint a Hummingbird in Watercolor.
In general, a bird is easiest and best painted in a fairly loose style, because if you paint tightly and are not extremely skilled, you will tend to lose the liveliness and movement of the bird.
This first version was painted in blues and was a very quick, spontaneous sketch. I have to admit it came out better than I expected. I just used two or three blues and greens and a purple, and let the paint move on the paper, which was stretched, Arches 70lb printing paper.
This second version of the Hummingbird is in a slightly more structured style, but still painted wet in wet, so allowing the blues and violet-pink to blend softly together. The red hibiscus creates a strong contrast to the fragile bird.
This is another approach entirely. Using colors which are far from realistic, and a black watercolor pencil to emphasis a few lines of the bird and the stamens of the hibiscus, it has drama and movement.
This Hummingbird is quite realistic in the choice of colors, and is painted wet in wet but this time with a pen and ink structure to the whole painting. The delicate flowers in the bower within which he sits are just lightly indicated giving a ethereal look.
Finally the most recent of my Five Ways to Paint a Hummingbird in Watercolor is this one done in fantasy colors and wet in wet with a little wet on dry and spatter at the end. You could choose whatever colors you like for this – I chose my five favorites, Quinacridone Gold, Cobalt Blue, Dioxazine Violet, Pthalo Blue and Pthalo Green. The flowers were entirely wet in wet and were created in four layers letting each layer dry completely before painting the next.
Also available now are these lovely Signature Hummingbird wraparound ceramic mugs which are on sale on this site. There are other designs available too.