Sep 6, 2016

New Christmas Birds Digital Painting - WIP3

In my previous post on this topic I was working on the female cardinal. In this post I've moved to the chickadee. Starting with the outline sketch I did, I use this on a separate Photoshop layer as a guide.

Next, on a new layer under the outline layer, I block in the basic body colors and markings. I use a medium shade of the main colors so I have some room to add darker colors for shadows and lighter colors for highlights without getting too dark or too light.

Here I'm starting to adding the wing markings which, on the black-capped chickadee, have lighter edges. I'm just roughing in the areas at first, then I'll blend and texture them later. I don't need the outline anymore so I've hidden that layer to better see the feather edges.

In this image I've started texturing and shading the body feathers.

Here's the finished bird, with wing and tail feathers blended and body feathers textured. I waited until after I blended the wing feathers to add the body feathers to the bird's back because those back feathers overlap the wing feathers. In general, you want to work from the lowest layers and work your way up to the top layers so you get a natural overlapping look.

So there it is, an adorable black-capped chickadee sitting on a snow covered fence post. Next I'll be working on the bluebird in the scene. Then all four birds will be done and I'll moving on to the garland decorations.

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