Toucan Painting

I finally had the time to finish off another painting I had been working on for over a week. It wasn’t that it took that long, in and of itself, but that I was extremely busy for that time in my daily duties and travels. Fortunately, it slowly progressed and truly gave me an appreciation for completing paintings over extended periods of time to see how the colors look in different lights once completely dried and ‘matured’ on the paper.


I used to wonder how long a painting should take to complete, and that the more skilled you were, the shorter that period would be. However, I have since begun to understand that a painting really just takes as long as requires. Some take more time, others less, but there is not time limit to achieve what you want for a piece.

For example, I think I did a better job in restraining myself from overworking this piece and focuses on the toucan primarily. I also put the focus risht in the center of the painting, but it isn’t the worst thing in the world, even though it breaks some rules of design. It isn’t as bad because the branches make some triangles that seem to point to the toucan, and the contrast of the dark feathers and their light, sun-kissed outline capture attention and hold it with that white feather. Then, the darker head and beak in the soft sunlight filtering through bush and leaf also hold your gaze, with the curved beak pointing back to the branches. Then, it cycles through again. At least, that is how I see it. It doesn’t seem bad, but I am just learning and still in the process of experimentation with my ‘art journey’.

I used a few more colors in this one:

  • Cadmium Yellow (Soho Urban Artist Watercolors)
  • Burnt Umber (M. Graham)
  • Indigo (Lukas Aquarelle 1862)
  • Alizarin Crimson (Winsor & Newton)

I plan to write a comparison of my paints as I have had some experience working with the different brands – at least enough to have an opinion. You can read about that soon. Just expect a post on the subject.

The paper I used in this one was Kilimanjaro from Cheap Joes. Their sales online around the holidays are pretty great – so I stock up then.

I hope you all can appreciate, objectively, how effort and practice can make anyone’s art work improve over time. It just takes commitment and time. Effort helps, as well. Evidence of this can be seen in the gallery of my works. Even to me, it is remarkable.

I hope to start hanging some of these paintings in some home-made frames soon. I have put a few together, but just need to sand and stain them. I hope to have another post on how I make my own frames for my paintings in the future.

Thanks for checking out another one of my posts. I really write them for myself – to keep track of my progress. I also want to share with others my own progress to inspire you to start your own foray into the watercolor world.

Keep painting, keep sketching, keep moving forward – one square at a time.


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