Painting Kuching in Watercolour

Archive for March 2011


Posted on: 22/03/2011

Continuing on my “Hua Niao”painting, here is the pair of Yellow Breasted sunbirds that are frequent visitors to my garden. The nectar of the Copperleaf (Chrysothemis pulchella) is so delicious they will come to feed several times a day, even when the afternoon gets very hot.

I painted the birds from a number of photographs. They get so engrossed feeding and skipping around singing happy tunes, I could creep up right next to them!

The Copperleaf was painted from the huge specimen there right up against the fence.

Painted on Cotmans watercolour 16” x12” 140lbs coldpressed paper using Holbein watercolours, Aureolin, Alizarin, Gamboge Nova, Royal Blue and Opera. I mixed that brilliant orange from Aureolin and Opera!


At last finally completed after constant interruptions!

I painted this in the spirit, if not quite the style, of the classical Chinese “hua niao” (Flower and Bird) painting popularized by the Zhao Ze Emperor (Hui Zong) of the Song Dynasty.

The Orange Jessamine grows in a pot on my patio and lives up to its Chinese name “xih li hiang” – Fragrant for Seven ‘li’ (miles).

The Yellow Vented Bulbul likes to eat the little red fruits. There is a pair of bulbuls that visit regularly but they are very wary birds and fly off the moment they catch sight of me observing them.

Painted on Cotmans watercolour 16” x12” 140lbs coldpressed paper using Holbein watercolours in a limited palette of Aureolin, Raw Sienna, Deep Perm. Yellow, NaplesYellow, Sap Green, Shadow Green and little mixtures of alizarin crimson, lamp black, royal blue and violet for the shadows, eyes, beak and feet.


A rank amateur self-taught watercolour artist

March 2011
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