Saturday, March 15, 2014

Hummers! (No, Not the Monstrous Vehicle... It's the Tiny Bird I am Referring to...)

Rufus!,  Watercolor on Arches #140 Cold Press Paper, 7"h x 7"w, WIP 1

This is my latest project -- a little Rufus Hummingbird painting to be completed with gold leaf. 

Last September my dear artist friend, the amazing Carrie Waller, has shared a technique of how do combine gold leaf with watercolor on her blog. I was very intrigued by the effect you can get using this particular technique, but was not sure what subject would work best with it. Carrie has done some beautiful still life paintings of fall leaves and pears using this technique, as well as a larger painting of humming birds. I especially liked how the shimmer of the gold leaf would work with the brilliant colors of humming bird plumage, and after some researches of suitable reference materials, have settled on a series of Rufus Hummingbirds to try my hands on. This is the first one of them. All the yellow backgrounds would be covered with gold leaf in the finished painting. I almost cannot wait to do it!

I think the emerald green and green gold used for the feather of the humming bird would work well with the gold leaf. And after reading Chris Beck's tutorial in the latest Artist's Magazine, I decided to give masking fluid another try on the cactus flowers. I used a dipping pen to apply them for the thorns (the masking are removed here and you can see the resulted white shapes of thorns on the cacti), and find them easy to use, as well as capable of producing much thinner lines. I took the maskings off before applying the final wash, so that I can modify the edges of the masked shapes with some brush work, and tone them down if they appear to be too stark... 

In the mean time, if you have an image of a beautiful landscape, or a flower you like, or anything you might want to see painted, please email them to me at I will paint them and post them here. From every 10 paintings I make from them, there would be a random drawing, and the lucky winner get to take a original back home for free! Interested? Then send me your photo!

You can now buy high quality Giclee prints of many of my sold paintings, both on paper and canvas, as well as some note cards with my paintings here:


  1. I so adore these little creaures, can't wait to see this painting progress! The Rufus male is the first to appear in our Valley.


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