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Digital Subscriptions > Leisure Painter > Sep-19 > Dinner party

Dinner party

Practise techniques and colour mixing to develop your watercolour confidence, with Elena Parashko


Work with masking fluid and salt crystals

Practise wet-in-wet, wet-on-dry and lifting-out techniques

Rainbow lorikeets are a beautiful bush bird of Australia. Even in suburbia, you will find these chatty birds in eucalyptus trees. I took this photo (right) of gorgeous lorikeets having a feast of seeds from a bird feeder. It was a frenzy of colour, activity and noise. They were so engrossed in their dinnerparty chatter that I was able to stand very close to them to take the photos, which I used as reference material to create a painting back in the studio.

Photographs rarely capture the perfect composition suitable for a painting, but they are a good starting point. I felt this photo was a bit too busy so I eliminated the bird on the left and the blurred moving one in the background and only used the two birds on the right as my main reference for the painting. I flipped around the bird in the foreground so they would be facing each other and interacting. I also decided to paint them in their natural environment, sitting on branches rather than on a feeder. This created a more simplified and interesting story.

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About Leisure Painter

Welcome to the September issue. You will find packed inside a wealth of practical advice, illustrated techniques, creative ideas and step-by-step demonstrations in watercolour, acrylics, oils and pastels. There's information for beginners, and prompts and inspiration for those with more experience. There's everything from how to paint from photographs and ten top tips for keeping your colour mixes clean and vibrant to painting cat's eyes in detail, filling a nature journal and painting landscapes, buildings, reflections, animals, birds and more. Enjoy your month of painting.