Here are two of my studies of a goldfinch painted about 4 years apart. There are parts of both which I like but I prefer the more recent one. Different times, different styles. I shall describe the steps for painting the second study.
- Always with a finch, any finch, begin with the beak.Use very dry black ink. It is a stubby beak for cracking seeds with a downward facing hook at the end.
- Then paint in the position of the eye. Do not worry if this disappears as the stage 3 is painted. With this dry black ink paint the lines of the wings and tail.
- With a slightly wetter black ink paint in the plumage around the beak, at the back of the head and on the wings.
- Add the bright red plumage on the head and the bright yellow flash on the lower wing.
- Add the brown plumage on the back and body with as few strokes as possible. Add a few light grey strokes to suggest body shape.
- Finally, add legs and feet and the eye. If you want, add the background of a teasel for context.