Port Lincoln parrot portrait

My Aunty Pam lives in Port Lincoln, South Australia, and years ago on a visit I told her I’d paint her a Port Lincoln Parrot. Since developing my skills with Matt’s excellent tutorials via Virtual Instructor, I’ve had a number of attempts using different media I’ve been introduced to through VI.
The 1st was ink and wash - a bit sketchy, but I was chuffed at how it turned out.
I thought I could do a better job in colour pencil - so my 2nd and 3rd attempts are colour pencil (Derwent colour soft) on Canson Mi teints (a bit disappointing), then on Fabriano Bristol (this I was quite excited about,but the smooth paper I had difficulty with and I lost enthusiasm, but was great experience to try this paper). I meant to buy Bristol Vellum by Strathmore which is what Matt often uses for colour pencil, but when I was at the art shop, I couldn’t remember which one, so I bought a pad of this Fabriano Bristol paper. If anyone can tell me what the difference is I’d appreciate it.
Given my ink & wash turned out so well (in my opinion) - I had another go on a larger scale and with some nice new selection of green watercolours and had another go at that style. I was going to put more feather detail in over the top of the water colour with colour pencil - but started to worry I would stuff it up and it would end up overworked.
I had some challenges with tide marks. I’d try to soften them but a new tide mark would emerge. I’m also attempting to push the dark values for the 3D illusion, like what Matt suggests in many of his critiques.
I would totally love and welcome any of you to critique these as it’s so valuable to get others perspectives. Water colour is a lot fun to play with, so I’m looking forward to having another go.

Ink & water colour on 300g medium texture watercolour paper

1st ink and wash sketch (using Derwent Ink Tense travel set)

1st color pencil on Canson Mi Teints

2nd colour pencil on Fabriano Bristol

Here are a few practices with the water colours and the process with my current piece done this weekend


@Sooz these are all amazing! Watercolor, im convinced, will always be my favorite when it comes the overall look. I adsolutely love your pieces and am sure your aunt will be very excited to receive whichever one you decide on sending her! Seeing as youve been to Australia and I havent, would you mind sharing some of your favorite parts of it?:blush: Ive been very eager to visit and explore there for years and am hoping the chance will come up soon. I would love to hear of your experience!v
Again, great job!

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@Sooz , all of your pieces look amazing! It’s also nice that you’ve got the colors laid out in a reference palette sheet(I see it in on of your photos) Constructive critique-wise, is the parrot’s body in the tree or coming out of the tree? If in the tree, then I think it could possibly be darker for more of a perspective/3D effect? And I want to point out what a phenomenal job you’ve done on the eye! The main reflection WITH the bounce back light, beautiful! :clap: :star_struck:

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All of My favorite things! Birds, especially parrots, ink, and watercolor and watercolor pencils! You’re better by far than I am, I couldn’t get the vibrant results you did with the Derwent Inktense pencil small set, I used Faber Castell blue box (mid range) along with Daniel Smith watercolor paint sticks for most everything I try but haven’t made anything I’m proud enough to post yet as you have!

Some of the wildlife artist videos on YouTube using watercolor and pen/ink make completely realistic illustrations look fast and easy while others make abstract scenes with more watery paint, there’s such a variety of looks that can be made with watercolors, which is why I find them frustrating while loving them, not very forgiving.

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Wonderful work. I really like how you tried the same project with different mediums and on different papers. Great idea.

You do wonderful work! Thank you for sharing.


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These are all great and so interesting to see all the different methods. Thanks for sharing

Thanks @wren07 . There are so many amazing places on Aus. A couple of favourites are are maybe Tasmania which has many beautiful wilderness areas and Western Aus in the wildflower season. Thanks again for encouraging words.

@Sooz thank you for the references! Both destinations sound breathtaking, especially eith my love for wildflowers! I hope very much to visit one day and experiance Australias beauty myself​:blush::blush: And youre welcome, of course! Your art is beautiful! Keep it up!

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I love them all! Each has a different characteristic that makes it interesting, and the comparisons are a great learning tool for me. Thank you!

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