These were a challenge and nearly more than I could mange. Somehow in the end I managed to pull off the design I was aiming for.
Normally I draw in pencil and over draw with a fine line permanent waterproof pen and rub out all of the pencil. This is an important step due to the pencil often spreading and discolouring the gouache paint that I prefer to use. Once painting starts I also constantly change my water, dirty water makes for dirty colours. I paint the background, then decide which areas would be furthest away and paint those before gradually moving forward. So in this case the robins were last, bar a few highlight details.
Prior to painting the robins, I created a test in my sketchbook - stupidly during a migraine episode. Normally, I would work on the test and the actual pieces at the same time, within a few minutes so I know exactly what I am working on, which paints, the combination along with ratios and how I am going to paint it. However the migraine was too severe and although I managed to complete the robin to the exact way I wanted, I then couldn't carry on. In fact I had to leave it for about 3 more days before I could attempt to paint again. Then despite the continuance of the migraine I tried to carry on as I had a tight deadline I would never meet if I didn't. This meant I could not work out just how I painted my ideal robin and had to try again. At one point I nearly binned everything, bearing in mind there were 17 robins over 7 designs that I had individually painted every leaf and every berry not to mention I had spent one week working on them all. Mis-painting the robins at this point required me to use everything I could remember from my art training and I over painted the sections I was unhappy with. Gradually over time they started to emerge as real robins. In the end I was extremely happy with the results, all-be-it different to the one I intended.
I hope you like my robins too. Keep an eye out for my new robin lines using the print on demand (POD) site Redbubble. These will be created with both the gouache original paintings and the aid of Adobe Photoshop computer software. Although I love the traditional crafts I do appreciate and enjoy using technology, so I offer this through my other POD items,
You can now purchase my Mugs, Glass Coasters, Bookmarks, Tote Bags and Keyrings directly through my Conscious Crafties Shop;
Prices from £5 - £15 + p&p