How To Paint A Hummingbird

Hello again,

As promised I am back in the studio and ready to give you another lesson. As you can see, I am taking my self portrait with my very attractive headset.

I have some research photographs taped to my desk front and the little white gryphon figurines lined up on the shelf, waiting to be painted.

Hot chick, with hot accessories!

(Heather's comment) Hot chick, with hot accessories!

As usual, the first thing you do, is to prepare your color palette. I have mixed at least ten shades that I will use throughout the painting of the hummingbirds.  I will leave these colors on the glass palette and not remove them until the hummingbirds are finished. The paints will dry by tomorrow, but you can re-wet watercolor and this is one of the beauties of this medium.


Jody's palette November 19, 2008.You always start by painting the lightest washes first. It still seems unbelievable to most viewers that these simple shapes will eventually turn into a design that the brain will believe is a hummingbird. Jody's first pale washes.


The colors in the four hummingbirds will all match. Remember my phrase: Repitition with variation. This is what gives paintings their harmonious quality.

You can see by looking at this close up why I need to have jeweler’s glasses. The head of this hummingbird is the size of a penny.

Hummingbird in the nest.

I actually really love painting hummingbirds. The colors are bright and happy and their tiny bodies have relatively few details compared to most other birds.

It's wonderful to see a summertime bird during these dark days of fall.

I will finish the hummingbirds and show you all the secrets by next week.
Guess where the 25 ft woman is now
Monday November 17, 2008.

Gargantuan woman invades what city?

I wanted to include this photograph from my weekend trip. Can any of you tell me where I am? I want you to notice how small the people in this city are!

Tomorrow’s blog will be sponsored by Heather. She will be telling you about her job and why you will or will not get your holiday orders this year (haa haa – Heather!)

Talk to you tomorrow,



~ by jodybergsma on November 19, 2008.

7 Responses to “How To Paint A Hummingbird”

  1. Jody, what brand of watercolor paints do you find work the best? I have been using Grumbacher and Windsor all my life and wonder what brand you find best to work with. Also, on your small paintings, which paper do you prefer? I have been accustomed to using Arches Cold Press 300 for years. I enjoyed reading your blog and look forward to many more issues. Thanks, sincerely,Janet Dean

  2. Jody i just happend upon this site with luck:) i was wanting to meet you inperson when you did a signing in Olympia a couple (?) years back but missed it , i love your unique painting style and the wildlife you choose to paint is wonderful , my mom is very fond of hummingbirds and frogs and i always look for your artwork on cards and such as i know she’ll love it and she does:) currently i am looking on line on how to paint hummingbirds as i think that would be what her and my dad would love in their bedroom on the wall instead of a plain old wall or curtain , they are in their late 80’s and have always injoyed nature and their house out in the country where they have been fortunate enough to have seen wildlife up close * even baby skunks my mom said *
    so thanks for sharing your artwork with the world and some of your techniques and i am hoping at my old age of 52 i can create a technique of my own and you keep living the good life

  3. Dear Janet,

    I’m glad you are enjoying the blog.

    I use Windsor paints and Windsor White Gouache because it’s more opaque for my paintings. I use Windsor Newton 300 pound cold press watercolor paper.

    Thank you for your questions.

    Merry Christmas,


  4. Dear Kathleen,

    Thank you for your kind comments.

    I want to let you know that I will be painting another hummingbird painting in the spring that will include 5 hummingbirds! This may help you.

    Just having the right shapes and research will make all the difference. Remember what I’ve told you about using color, repetition and variation and it will turn out beautifully.

    Please feel free to email Heather a photo when the wonderful piece is completed –

    Have a wonderful holiday,


  5. I just want to tell you that your blog is very interesting, bookmarked

  6. i love it

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