Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Pink Hibiscus and Green-breasted Mango Hummingbird

Here is a fun custom painting that I just finished - a pink hibiscus flower and a green-breasted mango hummingbird.

The green-breasted mango is a tropical bird not common in the United States.  I've never seen one in New England, although they visit southern Texas and have traveled farther north on rare occasions. So I had to do some research to find out what they look like. They are so pretty with iridescent black, green and purple feathers!
I'll show you how I did this painting below:

The client saw my print of a ruby-throated hummingbird and white hibiscus which you can see to the left, and thought something similar would make a perfect Christmas gift for his wife.
She has a pink hibiscus that has been in the family for generations. It withstood a relocation to northern Wisconsin with difficulty, but finally bloomed again this past summer. And she loves hummingbirds!

To do the custom painting, I draw a similar scene and transfer it to watercolor paper. Then I start with the background as I normally do:

Next, I paint pink for the flower, adding blue into the wet paint wherever there are folds in the petals:

The center of a hibiscus is often a deeper color, so I add darker, warmer reds in the center and shadow areas. I draw out some of the wet paint with my brush tip to indicate veins:

The bird has an iridescent blue and black belly and throat and a green body and head:

The tail feathers are an interesting purplish color.  The wings are semi-transparent, so I paint the background color as it would appear through them:

Now I have a decision to make. I think the jeweled tones of the hummingbird and flower would show better against a darker background. But I don't want the entire background to be dark. So I compromise and try painting dark blues and greens just on the lower half:

That seems to work well, so I add more details to finish the painting. You can click the image to see it larger:

A hummingbird visits a pink hibiscus flower

I name the painting "Jewels of Summer" because of the sparkling jewel-like colors. In the cold months it will remind the owner of warm summer days when the hummingbirds come to visit her pretty pink hibiscus flowers.

I'm happy to take custom orders. Contact me for a custom painting of your pet, home, garden, grand kids, favorite vacation spot or whatever your heart desires.
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