Hummingbird Flower

I love hummingbirds. When I lived on the east coast, I would see them from time to time, but here in California, they are everywhere. Not so much at this time of year, but I did see one just a couple of days ago.

When we go to my wife’s cousin’s house, I am always out by the fence. The beautiful, red/orange flowers there, look like trumpets (or maybe cornets – I don’t really know the difference). Hummingbirds are never too far away. I approach when I see one dipping its beak into one of the red flowers. If I’m too quick, it darts of to hover at a safe distance, and comes back when I move away.  I have not, as yet, been able to photograph one of these birds up close. I do have many pictures of the flowers though.

Today’s watercolor experiment:

We are going to Joy’s cousin’s house for Thanksgiving. I thought it would be a nice gesture to bring a watercolor in appreciation. Below is my rendition of the hummingbird flower by their brown fence.

Watercolor: Red Trumpet-shaped Flower in front of brown fence

Hummingbird Flower
12″x9″ 140# Cold Pressed Watercolor Block


The main point of interest is the front view of the petals of the flower, with an intimate look at the inside goings-on. The rest of the scene offers different views of the same type of flower, a flower mug shot, if you will.

I used several different reds for the flowers. Cadmium red light mixed with warm sepia was the right hue and saturation for the part of the bloom in shadow. Opera red gave a nice pink hue to the petals in sunlight. The yellow orange center was a combination of cadmium yellow pale and cadmium red light. I used a very small brush to draw in the details.

My recent work with ink made me aware of a bottle of white ink that has been sitting around unused for quite a while. I used it in small amounts to paint the bright highlights of the red petals.


The only change I would make before completing this painting would be to darken the dark areas between the flowers at the top of the frame. In the photograph, the flowers stand out starkly in front of a black background.

4 thoughts on “Hummingbird Flower

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