The wild honeysuckle vines are blossoming here in the Inland Northwest, this is the variety that grows in the wild around here. The way it creates a little “cup leaf” with a group of blossoms appearing in trumpet shapes before springing open is fascinating. Hence the name “trumpet honeysuckle“, here is more information from www.garden.org, if you are interested. It may be simply be an orange celebration in honor of the hummingbird population returning, but, none-the-less it is beautiful to witness.
While clearing the slope outside my kitchen window last year, we discovered two small pines totally engulfed in vine. They were goners! Honeysuckle is a ferocious vine striving to climb any tree or bush till it eventually chokes them out. The hummingbirds love these flowers and deer tend to leave them alone. So, we took the time to carefully unwind and transplant the vines into the landscaping off the kitchen deck last year.
This area is beginning to look good with plants beginning to take shape from the transplants last year. The two trellis covered with honeysuckle serve as bookends to iris planted between. Hurley seems to enjoy his little yard by the kitchen.
Okay. It is simply finishing up for me now. Blossoms in front and behind with shadows to show them in 3D. Leaves here and there some with details, some very light behind.
I try to ensure enough variety of texture and tone to keep the eyes discovering different parts as you tour the painting. Hummingbirds just do that to me naturally.
This is a 22″w x 30″h watercolor on 300lb. watercolor paper work. It is entitled, “Hummingbirds, Seven J1516” and if you’d like to see it then head on down to the Kress Gallery on the third floor of Riverfront Park Shopping Center (behind and to the right of the food vendors). It will be there through Nov 28th. This painting is at the top of the ramp going up into the gallery on the left hand side. If you are interested in purchasing it, just let me know.
Thank you for exploring this art journey with me.
Background sunrise is needed now, so I carefully wet the background area and drop in brushfulls of sunrise colors.
Little by little the background gives me a warm sunshine glow outlining all the vines, leaves and Honeysuckle blossoms.
I like the shapes and locations so I happily head into finishing all the bright blossoms and leaves being careful of shadows and shapes and I go.
I notice that the background is needing a more definite presence or I will stand the chance of really screwing up, so I begin darkening the branches, giving them their shadows and highlights.
Here is a closeup showing branch darkening.
Next, I notice it is mainly the path of the vines that needs to be done. Reserving where I am wanting to put things as I progress with the details. It is kind of like I need to build my structure where the rest of the characters will reside. Constructing the image site.
Here is the seventh Hummingbird located in the upper right corner.
You can see that my background remains just sketched in light.
After I add the colors for the next two hummers I have one left to colorize. Do you see him?
Now the center flying hummingbirds come into color. First there is the red necked hummer, with a white chest and green wings.
Then we have a violet and blue gorgeous hovering wonder above him. And we are up to four out of seven hummingbirds done except for final details. I can almost hear the “Star Wars” sound that they make, I swear that Lucas got that sound for when they are riding the jet motorcycles through the redwood forest on that planet from the Hummingbird whirring.
Finishing up the green guy perched on the branch lets me prepare to get ready for the flying guy above him. I also am finishing leaves and the vine highlights and shadows as I work on the birds. It is all a real gradual process for me. The images show before and the after.
After…. The guy perched on the branch (lower right) gets his green.
This second hummingbird perched on the branch in the lower right section is one I am wanting to have kind of blend in. So there is something to discover in the painting. His coloring is going to be in greens so that he blends in with his surroundings enough to allow this. I begin with the bright yellow green flecks on his chest and outlining his body shape. It is where I see the light hitting his feathers creating that iridescent gleam.Then I begin to decide on color scheme for the two centered figure above the two perched birds.
Our first hummingbird along with his honeysuckle blossom is rendered and it feels as though our painting is actually coming to life.
I had not been sure that orange blossoms would not take away from the right colors in the hummingbirds. It was a scary thought. So, in all honesty, this first one was an experiment. I think we will be safe with the color scheme with the way this first one shows. Yay!
You will notice that we are also able to make the sunrise in the background come to life. I carefully wet the area staying just a tad away from the main characters using a light mix of Cadmium Yellow Light, and then fill my brush with bright drops of New Gambouge, and Cadmium Yellow Dark. Just dripping in the color and letting it do it’s own magic as it mixes.