Blue Heron, Juvenile Painting.

Here is a painting I did of a Juvenile Blue Heron. I started from my original photo of the bird that I took in September 2017. I really liked the way how the Blue Heron is standing in this picture, and found that it had a lot of character. He is a juvinile Blue Heron, and you can see his feathers look a bit more textured than a full grown adult.scruffy_heron8_ul

The photo below is a rough sketch of the Blue Heron, done in my small watercolour sketchbook in acylic paint.  I think it is a good study considering I spent less than 2 hours on it, and it is only 8″x10″


This version is done in watercolour, I do not think that the drawing is the strongest, since the head seems kind of slanted or something, but the water does look very lively.



I did not include the drawing in this process, however I do have the early stages of the painting, the photo below was taken 4.5 hours into the painting. You can see I have the base colours down, as well as some detail on the bird, but the painting overall still looks fuzzy. This painting was done on a 20″x 16″ stretched canvas



In this photo you can see the painting is becoming more developed. I over exposed this photo a bit, and it is hard to see all the detail in the highlights. But you can see I worked on the detail of the bird, and added more depth to the water. I also put many glazes of thinner paint in various colours on the feathers of the bird to create interest. This was taken after 9 hours working on the painting.


The picture below is the finished painting. You can see the rich texture in the birds feathers as well as the dark greens of the water. I think I did a good job at the ripples in the water, one area where I think I stuggled was that I should have added more depth/ highlights in the water since it looks a bit flat, at the same time though I did not want to have distracting water which is probually why I didn’t add much texture.


Overall I am satisfied with this painting, I think I am improving on my proportions in my wildlife drawings over the last few months.  However, maybe I could have been a bit more adventerous with the water.

4 thoughts on “Blue Heron, Juvenile Painting.

  1. I love this and I especially like the watercolor version. This bird is one of my favorites and I am always happy when I see any herons of any type, they are beautiful and graceful-looking.


  2. Beautiful bird, Shawn! Great colors! Whether and how much to “do more” with the water can be a tough thing to decide. More a choice of what you like/want than anything else, but I did like the water look at the 4.5 hr stage. Probably way too much for the final version, but if your instincts are for a little more in the water, then…. All the best, young man 😊


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