Finished Painting, mango shoots


       Here is the finished painting; I wet the entire top area and dropped in pthalo blue and magenta. Added some middle ground leaves at the bottom.

finished painting , mango shoots


             Wet the thrushes again, and added shadows (mix of translucent orange, madder red dark and a little pthalo blue). The shadows on the upper bird are a little hard edged and I wet that area again (after it had dried) and blended it more smoothly.

top left of bg       

  I find sap green mixed with walnut brown is a better color for background foliage (top right of bg, with the white gaps left in between). It dries quite dark because walnut brown is quite opaque.



             Here I have started the background near the bottom of the painting, using the greens mixed with walnut brown, wet on dry in one wash.  Wet on wet could get quite tricky in all those tight spots.

background near the bottom


    almost finished foreground

      Here are the initial washes for the thrushes. I wet the paper and dropped in a diluted translucent orange and a bit of indian yellow near the belly. The wings are Pthalo blue and a bit of magenta to get the violet. A damp cotton bud works great for lifting out highlights.

first wash , bird

first wash , bird

Some more foreground leaves

sap green leaves, right  

first washes

extreme left; first washes

Progress on mango leaves painting


        These are the more mature leaves towards the bottom of the painting. Of the colors that I had mentioned, I ended up not using the pthalo green. Sap green is the perfect color for leaves just turned green from orange and a mix of pthalo blue and indian yellow was sufficient for the matured leaves with a little bit of the red or brown for the shadows.

green mango leaves


green leaves , details


        These are the tender leaves towards the top of the painting.

orange new growth , intital wash for green leaves


orange pink new growth

First groups of leaves


        I put out a lot of colors for this one. There’s such an amazing array of colors in the leaves. Schminke’s Indian Yellow, Raw Sienna, Green Gold, Hookers green, Pthalo green, Pthalo blue, Ruby Red, Magenta, Krapprot tief (which I found out is Madder Red Dark), Walnut Brown, Raw Umber, Translucent Orange ……whew… Here is the first groups of leaves done by first wetting the leaves and laying in the different colors to blend on the paper and picking out the veins while they are still damp. 

base wash - first bunch of leaves


        Finished most of the leaves in this group. Added some shadows with darker colors. The sunlit leaves are quite pale.



                First wash for the second group of leaves.  

base wash 


            Finished them in the next wash. Am not going to paint too many details. 

base wash

Orange headed Thrushes and mango shoots


    The mango trees in our neighbourhood had put out new growth in winter, and I took a couple of shots of this tree last month. The tender new leaves have the most lovely shades of orange, maroon and pink and they have a clean fragrant smell. By now, they have turned a light green and the tree would probably start flowering in a month or two.

mango tree

         On Diwali day, I was out admiring the early morning view, when I spotted these birds feeding on the ground searching for insects etc. I hurried to get my camera and snapped them from far as I didn’t want to scare them off. Pretty bad shots in the light of the dawn but with some cropping and adjusting the contrast in Picassa, I got enough of details of the birds to enable me to paint them. I found out that they are called Orange headed thrushes and are secretive birds feeding mostly at dawn or dusk and prefer building their nests in mango trees. 



       Here is the composition I made out of the mango tree and the birds:

thrush1mango shoots drawing