hummingbird and orchid oil still life painting with chinese flaskOften, I get asked how I make my paintings and birds seem to glow. A few months ago, I made a video while painting this still life painting, “Jeweled Visitors” and decided to edit it down into a short clip to illustrate how I paint iridescent bird feathers.

This is a quick little flick, but I hope it helps you understand how to make your bird feathers look iridescent and make them glow!
Here are a few tips to remember:

  • To give the illusion of light, use very little white. White makes subjects look ‘chalky’, not light! I use cadmium yellow with a dash of white most of the time.
  • Use warm notes against cool tones to help the illusion of light.
  • Use a variety of different colors against each other. For example, a warm blue (ultramarine blue) and cool blue (cobalt blue) next to each other make the blues sparkle.
  • Use these brighter colors next to earth tones.
  • I use an old brush to help me paint the feathers…
  • You might like this book > Keys to Painting Fur & Feathers

You might like to see My Tips for Painting Animal Fur, or
The Importance of Value and Tone in Painting
The Secret to Painting ‘White’ Objects
On My Easel #3: From Lemons to Lemonade
On My Easel #2: The Challenge of Painting the Illusion of Blown Glass
On My Easel: Still Life Oil Painting Demo #1

Save Money. Learn How to Gesso a Hardboard Panel for Painting
Bringing the Still Life to Life: A Painting Demo by Master, Jeff Legg
The New Still Life Paintings of Lori McNee
Top Paint Brush Tips from the Art Pros on Facebook
And here is a great book by North Light Books you might like: Keys to Painting Fur & Feathers

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