Monday, January 17, 2011

A Charm of Goldfinch


A Charm of Goldfinch: Acrylic on canvas 24”x30”

I have loads of these beauties on my feeders at the moment , but I actually sketched these, a couple of years ago, feeding on thistle outside my studio, and turned it into a painting. I have never been that satisfied with the background, and given that it has been in a couple of exhibitions and not sold, I think I will attack it again. Any suggestions would be gratefully received. I think the background is to close to the value of the birds and flowers in the foreground, maybe I should do away with the foliage and just set them against the blue sky! What do you think?

I think its good sometimes to put paintings away and come back to them fresh, its amazing how different they can look, and quite often your opinion changes, sometimes for the better , sometimes for the worse.


  1. Phil, I love the birds -- the color pattern is a bit different than on the little guys we have over here. The only advice I can offer on the background is that the sky seems disjointed from the rest of the painting, a little empty -- add a little larger tree off to one side or the other? But the birds are lovely.

  2. if you keep the greenery background it needs lighter and subdued value see the subjects better..
    also lop off the empty sky to the beginning of the foliage...if you leave it all in...even if you change to just sky color--part of this sky area needs cropping....there...that's my teacher eyes quick opinion....

  3. The birds are so pretty it is a shame not to show them off more. I think that setting them against a blue sky is a great idea. It would really make them and the thistle stand out.

  4. Yes, I'm having trouble finding the birds. A softer background may be the answer.

  5. I think 2/3 sky 1/3 foliage might be a better ratio! Lovely work.