Blue Jay resting on Water Fountain Digital Painting

I still see a lot of problem areas (as we all do with our own work), but I’m ready to move on to another project for now. Eventually, I would like to paint a series of all my favorite backyard birds, but having done two birds in a row, my next subject will be something else :laughing:

I used my own pictures for reference.

Painting Time-lapse For anyone interested, here’s a link to a video timelapse of my process.


Awesome, awesome! As for constructive criticism, I think that the composition of the piece could be shifted(like, how the viewers’ eye is led and retained throughout the piece) The bird, fountain, and rail are all nice, but I think the top area feels a little too high or blank(my opinion :sweat_smile: ) Also, one thing I’ve learned about doing digital art is utilizing blur, but I’m not sure of your process, especially since this is a painting. IF the bird and maybe fountain were on a different layer than the rest of the background, applying a blur filter(I use gaussian) helps the bird become the focal point even more, just like a camera focuses on the main subject. Hope I explained that well?? :smile: :clap: It’s exciting to see more digital art around here, and your photographs are art as well! You have a great eye @Migster , well done!


I agree with the focal point and brightness.

It’s a great work with the details captured, only I’d crop it off to the lower right 2/3 or 3/4 to get the blinding sun from grabbing attention before finding the bird. As for the bird, very realistic! I’d almost add a tint of grey to the white feathers protruding from the tail, even though they’re white in the reference, it looks like a spot you forgot to fill in or something. That’s your call though, part of being the artist. Maybe tint the breast feathers a touch warmer to match the sun and reference colors, might be why the white on the tail looks too white to me. Still way better than anything I could have done so don’t assume my advice is super-artman stuff!


I think you’ve had some great feedback from the others. I’ll just say that I love the bird and your work. I have no clue about digital painting, but I DO love birds! They are my other hobby besides art. I have decided and advised by others that birds seem to be my forte as far as drawing and developing with my chosen medium. Blue jays are so overlooked, yet so beautiful. I’ve done the Blue Jay drawing in the Three Little Birds lessons, and I’ve completed two bird drawings from my own photos – one Australian bird and the most recent being a male bluebird and his nestling.

Keep up the good work. The secret is practice, practice, practice. Look forward to seeing more of your art.


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Thank you all for the feedback! I agree with all the suggestions. I’ll revisit this painting at some point, make some changes, and repost it here.

@Brenda I feel the same way about Blue Jays. I’m happy that I now have a flock of them that come to my feeders every morning. They can sometimes be bullies to other birds, but I always enjoy watching them. The Blue Jay from the Three Little Birds lessons pretty much made me join this site :blush: Every time I’d see it in an intro video from Getting Sketchy, I’d admire it, and it made me want to learn how to create something like it.

I’ve been trying to work on other subjects, but I’m always drawn back to the birds. Not sure what it is, but drawing/painting them just seems to make sense to me :man_shrugging:t3: and I just think they’re beautiful. Some day I hope I can produce pieces like amyshawley on Instagram (love her work) :grin:

Anyway, I’m currently trying out a new painting program (Rebelle) and I’m really loving it. Despite working digitally, I prefer art that has a traditional media look to it.

This is what I’ve managed on my first try working with the oil brushes. Of all the programs I’ve tried, I find this one to be the best and easiest to work with to get a realistic oils look to it. Whenever I do decide to revisit the Blue Jay painting, I think I’ll rework it in this program to make it look more like an oil/acrylic painting.

Wow - that is impressive! I think it looks wonderful and I am in awe of your skill with the digital painting. I have been messing around with procreate and so far not much luck!

@junenez Thank you! I’ve been playing with Procreate a bit here and there when I’m away from home, but other than quick sketches, I haven’t really done much with it. I’m much more comfortable working on my desktop with a much larger pen display :grin:

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Looks great! How does the Rebelle paint software compare to Corel Painter (Formerly Fractal Design Painter, also just “Painter”)?

@ThatOtherGuy I don’t have a lot of experience with Painter, but the main takeaway, for now, is that Rebelle is simpler to use. I’m getting more comfortable with the oil brushes in Rebelle, but it still has been quite a learning curve. It’s difficult to compare because in the past when I tried Painter, I became too frustrated and didn’t stick with it for long. Now I have more patience and a better grasp of drawing/painting basics and in particular digital painting, which helps me stick with a project longer. In the end, I think that’s really what’s making the biggest difference. Sorry, I feel like I’m not really giving a clear answer lol

This is what I’m currently working on in Rebelle:

I just came back a week ago from a family trip to my sister’s property in Guatemala overlooking Lake Atitlan. There were so many beautiful birds that visited her garden regularly so I felt like I was in birding heaven! Thankfully I brought my camera and telephoto lens and I was able to get lots of pictures.

She gets many hummingbirds in a few different varieties. I wasn’t able to capture a good picture of one in flight because of how fast they move so I’m drawing inspiration from both of these shots and some googling for images of the Azure-Crowned Humminbird for this painting.

If I’m happy with the final product, I’ll print it out on canvas and give it to my sister to hang at her place.

The bird I was most excited about photographing, though was The Resplendent Quetzal. I had to go on an excursion into the jungle very early in the morning, and there was no guarantee of even seeing one, but I got lucky and not only saw a pair but was able to get a decent picture!

I’ll definitely be painting the Quetzal and, again, if I’m happy with it, my sister will be getting a print on canvas :blush:

That does answer my question. I got frustrated with painter even with Wacom tablet. It doesn’t work the same way as paper, maybe it’s the tactile feedback I miss, but I didn’t try the different tips on stylus though. But, if Rebelle kept you engaged long enough to learn enough to make these great creations, I suppose it’s different and functional enough to give it a try.

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Those look great! I Really love bird art, I have a parrot which is what got me here and trying to learn good enough to do him justice. The Brazilian parrots like Sun Conure needs most of the spectrum in a pencil set :smiley:

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Well, unfortunately, the feel of the pen tips never feels as good as using real pencil and paper. While the program and behavior of the digital brushes might be easier to grasp, the feel of the digital pen likely won’t be much different from what you experienced before.

Parrots are beautiful birds! Please share pictures of yours on here if you haven’t already done so!

Yeah, the tip thing can be improved by getting the wacom stylus tip options but I couldn’t “get into” the software even simulating colored pencil due to all the things I needed to change to adjust one thing or another as easily as it is with Real media. I’ll give Rebelle a shot and if it seems more intutive to me I’ll invest in the stylus options to see how that works out.

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The piece is looking really nice @Migster , the color palette is pretty! :star_struck: :art:
@ThatOtherGuy , not sure if this will help, but some programs have a feature called “stabilization” which, when tweaked, can be used to achieve smoother lines. BUT it may also be useful for some resistance-like imitation so that your digital brush doesn’t fly everywhere so easy and suddenly, thereby perhaps being a bit closer to traditional drawing. But yeah, digital IS different than traditional, both are cool! :clap: :pencil2: :pen:

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