Red Bird in a Summer Garden Oil Painting

The inspiration for this scene comes from a beautiful estate in upstate New York where my son worked as a gardener for a few summers. He took many photos and this is one scene that I particularly like. I decided to try it in oils adding a bird at the bird bath and making some changes to the composition.

So I got out a 5x7 Ampersand panel and my oil paints. I'll show you how I painted it below. The finished painting is available for sale in my Original Art shop: Red Bird in a Summer Garden oil painting

First I draw the design in pencil on the panel. The major colors will be green and deep pink, but I am not sure at this point what kind of bird will be sitting at the bird bath.

Once I get the composition sketched in, I begin to paint the lawn in the background keeping the green a cool color by adding more blue than yellow. This helps the background recede.

Next are some shrubs. Since this is a well-tended garden, they are trimmed to round ball shapes. I don't get into detail with them because they are in the distance.

Now I add a willow tree on the left and begin to paint some low evergreen ground cover in the foreground.

Pink flowers bloom around the bird bath:

I add a reflection of the willow tree in the clear water in the basin. A few more details and the bird will finish the painting.

To get ideas for the bird, I ask Zeh Original Art followers on Facebook what they think. They have some great suggestions such as a bluebird, hummingbird, oriole or a magpie. Some of them thought a cardinal would work well which I think is a good idea with all the green in the painting. Red and green are complementary colors and, when next to each other, they cause a pleasing vibration that makes the colors sing.

So, what do you think? Isn't a Cardinal a great idea?

Here is the finished piece in shades of red, deep pink and green:

I'm happy to take custom orders. Please contact me for a custom painting or to have a print made of a painting you like.
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