Happy Hummer: Draw a Bird Day, July Issue (and 100 Face Challenge, #69)!

Happy Friday!   Happy Draw a Bird Day!   It’s time to once again thank and recognize our friend M. R. Emberson at A-Wing and A-Way for informing us about the original Draw a Bird Day, celebrated annually on April 8.  A bunch of my artist buddies and I have been celebrating it on the eighth of each month ever since!    I hope you’ll enjoy.   This is on 8 x 5″ 300-lb. Arches cold press (which helped me out a whole lot on this one):

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I decided some time ago that I wanted to paint a hummingbird this month in watercolor for DABD, since July is also World Watercolor Month, sponsored (and created) by our friend Charlie O’Shields over at Doodlewash.   I sketched them over and over, head, beak, body, you name it, I even painted one a couple of times in a sketch book, based on an illustration from a book.   I wasn’t happy enough with the artwork to share them.   Then an amazing photographer by the name of Emily Carter Mitchell of Bella Remy Photography posted this shot of a hummingbird yesterday that she worked with an engineer to orchestrate!   And let me tell you, it’s a beaut!   She graciously gave me permission to use her beautiful, crisp image in my painting today.   And boy, did it give me a huge hand up!   Thanks again, Emily!

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I used a #2 round Isabey kolinsky sable (this is from a line of really nice but reasonably priced brushes) to paint everything but the eye.   For that, I took another artist’s advice (sorry, can’t remember her blog name at the moment) and bought a very small Winsor & Newton Series 7 sable brush.   The WN line of brushes is really expensive, but since there are very few hairs in that fine brush, and the hairs are fairly short, it isn’t too crazy at under $16.   It does work wonderfully for very small areas like that one, and I’m sure it will last a long time, so it’s all good in the end.   Sometimes you really need something very fine to get the job done.     (Note:  As a Blick Art Materials affiliate, purchases from these links help to support my site.   Enjoy and thank you!)

If you would like your bird artwork to be included in my roundup in about a week, please put a link to your work in my comments below.    Thanks so much for helping us make WordPress fly in July!  πŸ˜€

Are we dancing?   I think it’s time!    Speaking of which, I just have to share a link to this video from Britt Nicole, as the song “Headphones” came on my Pandora station while I was painting this yesterday, and now I can’t get it out of my mind.   I dare you not to dance when you hear this; it’s so zippy and happy!  Happy FRIDAY and I hope you enjoy the dance today!   Peace.

98 thoughts on “Happy Hummer: Draw a Bird Day, July Issue (and 100 Face Challenge, #69)!

  1. Beautiful, Laura. I love how the delicate and yet powerful flight of hummingbirds. They’re elusive and fragile, and amazing to watch if your eyes can keep up. For years, I didn’t even know they had legs. πŸ™‚

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      1. lol, that’s true! I’ve seen two and three males attack each other at the feeder. It’s like watching a miniature WWI dogfight. And they’re so precise. Technology’s got nothing on them. πŸ™‚

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    1. Jodi, you’re more than kind. I do prefer working wet into wet, but when I do that with something realistic, I’m almost guaranteed a toe-stomp from Lady WC. So glad you like my little hummer. Yours is beautiful too! It is the time of year when they run thick at the feeders! ❀

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  2. I love hummingbirds. Boy them little suckers can be mean though! I got sick of fights by the feeder some years ago and took the feeder down. I don’t have near the fights I used to. Poor birds thought that sugar water was crack! I tried to put them through rehab, but other neighbors enable them. I am surprised they still come to see me! The little tiny babies are so cute…so so tiny and nosey!

    Anyway, I think your hummingbird is good lookin and I enjoyed the painting. Thank you.

    This is my chicken named Gracie. https://brushofdawn.wordpress.com/2016/07/08/view-from-the-coop-11-x-14-inch-oil-painting/

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    1. Deborah, it’s been one of those days, looking forward to seeing your birdie. So glad you joined us, and I’m glad you enjoyed this one. It would probably look very odd if I posted lots of eye paintings, but I truly love drawing and painting eyes. It is so much fun!

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  3. What a lovely work! A hummingbird was one of thr first pieces I painted in watercolor and sold! I definitely need to return to that subject matter and butterflies as well. Can’t help but smile when you’re painting butterflies :-).

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      1. Yes, hummingbirds can present a real challenge, but they are very worth it. I love experimenting with the colors! I’m excited to follow and see what you have to offer! Always glad to have you visit my corner of the blogosphere :-).

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    1. Jill, they are swarming in front of my kitchen sink window constantly and it’s hard to forget them for a second! But they are surprisingly hard to paint and draw. Their heads have odd little shapes, but the prelim sketches I did for this painting really helped me understand them, finally!

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  4. This is amazing considering that you wear steel toes boots! ha! see! you can do it…..I had a hummingbird come up to me today while en plein air painting and she talked to me, I have no idea what she said but it sounded wonderful. I love birds and here I have never done a painting of one! what the heck is wrong with me?

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    1. Do ittttttt, it’s not too late, Margaret! I won’t do the roundup till next weekend! (No pressure tho but yay for birdies!) I love that one came up and talked to you. ❀ This one wasn't as tough because it was mostly wet on dry or v small sections of barely wet in wet. It's wet in wet work that I love to do, but I feel it's beyond my reach (and requires the boots!) Would love to see your birdies! πŸ˜€

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  5. Love your hummingbird, Laura, itΒ΄s perfect!!! And the little “splashing” is nice on it! I forgot DABD, shame on me, I always remember only if I see all the birds flying around here already. 😊 But my bird is coming too, itΒ΄s just a little slower than the others – poor little thing. πŸ˜‰ Have a wonderful weekend, Laura!!! 🌞

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  6. What an exciting blend of green. I simply adore the colour, even though I don’t use it a lot in painting. It’s perfect for this lovely bird. Enjoy the rest of watercolour month, Laura. xo

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