Red-browed Finch, watercolour on paper, 21 x 27 cm, © Matteo Grilli
I decided to start this portrait of this little gem of the Australian bush from the brightest of all its colours, red. I mixed a warmish red from Transparent Yellow and Permanent Carmine adjusting the temperature using just those two colours and applying them on the beak, lore and eye-stripe and upper-tail coverts. The darkest parts of the beak and the eye were painted with a mix of Prussian Blue and Madder Red Deep. The subtle greys of the head, breast, belly and flanks were achieved with a mix of Ultramarine and Burnt umber. For the back of the neck, mantle and wing I started with an under-was of Transparent Yellow and Ultramarine blue, building up layer upon layer and slightly changing the hues darkening with Madder Red Deep and the blues. The delicate tints of the legs are light mixes of Permanent Carmine and Raw Sienna for the pinky parts and Ultramarine Blue with Burnt Umber for the shadow areas. The final darkest details are mixes of Prussian Blue with Madder Red Deep. This Red-browed Finch is available as a greeting card published by Nuovo Group.