Pastel on pastel paper of one of the blue wrens that are native to Australia. The colours of wrens in Australia vary from state to state and we are lucky to have an abundance of beautiful native birds to draw and paint.
This pastel artwork is the first in a set of three pastels of our native wrens. I have a client to thank for this idea. After seeing my series of Australian parrots they suggested a set showing the beautiful blues, purples and reds in the plumage of these amazing little birds in pastel.
As with the first series of birds I spent most of my time on the background, getting all the blends right and deciding what to leave in and what to delete so that the bird would be the main feature and not the foliage around it. Just as I did previously, I also wanted to get the branch they are sitting on looking as three dimensional as possible.
When I had all of the background done, I was left with a "blob" in the centre of the work where the bird was to go. That is where I left the work and came back to it fresh in my next session. Again as in earlier works, I divided the it up into about six sections and slowly worked my way from head to tail. I then spent some time working to put in little details of white along the back and darker sections in the shadow areas to help bring the birds right out of the background.
These little wrens have surprising colours other than blue in their feathers, so it was worth the time and effort to include these little details to help give them spark and lift them off the surface to entice the viewer.