Macaw Parrot - Oil Painting

I’ve ventured into the world of oil painting. This is my first oil painting.
I love birds, so this was a good one to start with.

Painting is 16"×20" on canvas, with oils painted in a Subtractive Painting style. I used a “ground” and subtracted the drawing by wiping paint off, then added transparent glaze layer. Unfortunately, I didnt get enough light ares subtracted. I added an opaque layer and still too dark. So, I came back with another layer of opaques and highlights to get a painting I’m pleased with



Hi Lenet. Congratulations on your first oil painting. Colors are beautiful and vibrant. Really like your feather texture too. What’s next?

Terri Tobichon

Thank you Terri @robichon , I will see what VI has coming up, but next oil painting will be tulips and wildflowers with mountain range sunset. Learning about radiant indirect painting.

Will also work some more on some larger scale graphite.

I am trying to work my way into having a collection of sellable pieces over the next several months.

That’s the plan at least.


Hi Lenet - I know so little about oil painting that I don’t even know what radiant indirect painting is. Sounds like you’re leaning a lot. And it’s great that you’ve got a goal that you’re passionate about. Keep posting.

Terri Robichon

Terri @robichon , the radiant part is using “radiant” or highly pigmented opaque paints mixed with radiant white, to produce a very bright pastel color. Similar to the last process, but in reverse order. The under painting is laid out with these opaque radiant colors. Then a dark transparent glaze is used to cover the entire surface and the drawing is the created by subtracting the highlighted and midtone areas, revealing the intense colors behind. Finally, an additional layer of opaque and/or transparent paint is applied to bring out the details. Can’t wait to try it. The results is supposed to be a very vibrant almost glowing effect that appears to radiate from underneath. The darks from step two are used to create somewhat of a background, for example, dark areas that would appear in between the stems of wildflowers. It is like painting in the negative spaces. The 3rd layers adds the details and highlights on top, but not totaly covering the radiant colors and dark glazes showing through.

Process is similar to the paint version of Matt’s recent Getting Sketchy lighthouse in charcoal, where he covered the paper, erased the image and then added value and detail.

Best I can do with just explanation for now.



Hello @lenetg137 Lenet,

I love the macaw vibrant colors . You’ve been busy enjoying creating great art. The way you handled the oil paints on the first try is so impressive!! I cannot wait to see your next oil painting project. Thank you for sharing and being inspiring.


Thank you Sonia @Meme5 . I appreciate the comments. Believe me when I say that I get as much inspiration in seeing what everyone in these forums are doing as I do from what comes out of my head. As I see something that inspires me, I save a photo in my reference file. I then try to find different similar references. I have way more collected ideas than I have ever committed to paper. When something strikes me, and I decide to do it, then I try to figure outvwhich medium to use. I always try to challenge myself in some way, whether it is subject matter, medium, techique, composition or something else. I think it is the inner pursuit of the challenge to me that continously pushes me. I am always wanting to learn new things. It has always been that way for me forever and art is no different. So to think that what I do inspires someone else, there is no greater compliment. So thankful for friends like you all here that also inspire me with your individual creative postings and advice.


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That is an awesome job, beautiful.

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Thank you, Ron @rleeelliott .

This is fantastic! Love it.

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Thank you, @Denise .