Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Song Sparrow by Linda C. Miller

In addition to painting botanicals, I also paint our feathered friends. Here is a watercolor of an immature Song Sparrow.  The grey was made with Burnt Sienna and French Ultramarine. The browns and pinks were made with Cobalt Blue, Lemon Yellow and Permanent Rose, my favorite "go to" primary mixing group.  I used a Winsor Newton No. 2 Round Series 7 brush and a 00 Winsor Newton III round brush.  

Note the dried paint in my palette bins.
This is where I pick up my color!
My Technique for Creating Fine Lines
The most important thing is that your paper is dry, bone dry.  Then using a round brush ranging from a No. 1 to a 00, place your brush in your water container, then tap your brush once on a soaking wet cellulose sponge (not a natural sponge). Next (very important too) pick up your DRY paint and paint your line.  This technique takes out the excess water in the brush and ensures that your brush is filled with "loaded" pigment.

Painted on 90lb Cold Press Paper

Happy New Year and Happy Painting, Linda

Linda C. Miller Artist Naturalist Instructor
Visit my blog to see more techniques


  1. Beautiful song sparrow ... and thank you for sharing your technique.

  2. Thank Elva I so appreciate your kind words as I love your bird paintings too!

  3. Linda, thanks so much for sharing this! It's beautiful and I love seeing how other artists work.

  4. Very sweet and a bit dreamy painting.
    They are such nice birds. I always enjoy seeing them. When I was young we had many of them, but since we all started to isolate our houses better, you find them less in our Dutch cities but more on the country-side. There they find old buildings in which they can nest.
    Paula (Netherlands)

  5. I must try this. You inspire me, I love your work. Its how I would like to paint. Do you get the original idea from a photo or book, or do you make up your subject. I find I need something to look at...............

  6. Thank you Kate and Paula. Janice - for bird I always work from my photos and ones where I can see the details. I also have a field guide on hand to keep me on track. This painting is still a bit impressionistic. Smiles Linda


We'd love to hear from you, your questions, comments, observations! Please feel free to comment, feedback is important to us.