Naturally Complementary

Superb Starlings In Tree Branches Watercolor Illustration Painting

For our optional World Watercolor Month prompt of “Favorite Color” today, I found it difficult to choose. I love color in general and I’m not sure I really have a true favorite. But, when it comes to painting, I think blue is probably my favorite color and most-used color in the end. I have just three blues in my palette, Ultramarine, Cobalt Turquoise, and Indigo and so I used them all for this sketch. I wanted to paint a bird I’ve never tried before and stumbled across this variety known as a superb starling. I think that’s a rather wonderful name and love that they came with a bonus complementary orange. I do know that this is my favorite color combination. There are many birds that show up in this naturally complementary way. And, it’s why I always look to nature for ideas on how to mix colors. While I might stumble a bit as to what the perfect colors might be, nature never gets it wrong. There’s a world of inspiration just waiting to be discovered!

Also, I wanted to remind everyone who commented on my post a couple of days ago for the Winsor & Newton giveaway to be sure to click here and view my response to you in the comments to see if you’ve won! As another weekend comes to a close, I’m always wishing it would last just a little while longer. Okay, I really wish there was an entire extra day of weekend to enjoy. I hope you’ve all had a wonderful one. My dog Phineas has spent the entire day lounging outside and each time I look at him, he’s bended himself into some new position. It’s inspiring to see there are so many different ways to relax and enjoy the day. For my own part, I’ve snuck in plenty of little breaks today when I could. But, I had a lot of things to get caught up on so Phineas wins on that front. Last night, Philippe and I had a couple of close friends over and he made the world’s largest burgers. They plumped a bit more than he was expecting and our friends were impressed with his American-sized portions.

Towards the end of the evening we ended up singing karaoke songs and it was a blast! I haven’t sung like that in years and so it was a really fun night. This evening is much more low key as we wind things down and get ready for the work week ahead. And, as always, I make my little time to make a little something each day. I don’t think the day would feel right if I didn’t sketch and color. After I’m done, I always end up with this little glow in my heart. Even if what I actually made wasn’t quite as amazing as it was in my imagination. There are many things I do in life because I have to do them. And then there are those things that I have to do because my hearts calls me to do them. These are my favorite things of all. And sketching with watercolor is at the top of that list. I never knew when I started that I’d still be making sketches to this day. But, that’s that great thing about finding something you love to DO! It’s never difficult, and always naturally complementary.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Hansa Yellow Medium, Quinacridone Red, Benzimida Oranage, Terra Cotta, Cobalt Turquoise, Ultramarine (Green Shade), and Indigo. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with black ink  in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? Send me a note with a link to this post, and I’ll add it to my shop!
Superb Starlings In Tree Branches Watercolor Illustration Painting Sketchbook Detail
Recommended5 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
22 Comments
  1. Sharon Nolfi 1 month ago

    These birds are lovely! I think the natural world is full of pleasing color schemes, lines, and shapes. That’s part of what makes it so wonderful.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Thanks so much, Sharon! 😃💕 So true! The natural world is so wonderful!

  2. Karen Fortier 1 month ago

    Beautiful birds Charlie! So glad that you had a wonderful evening last night with friends. Nice day here, mixture of yard work, attaching labels to painting, grilling a steak to share and fresh garden peas!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Thanks so much, Karen! 😃💕 A grilled steak and fresh garden peas!? What more could anyone ask for?!

  3. Sandra Strait 1 month ago

    I’m always a bit baffled by the concept of a favorite thing. I do have favorites for a time – an obsession with a particular thing, but then something else drifts by and I have a new obsession. Sounds like your 4th was fun!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Hope your 4th was wonderful as well, Sandra! 😃💕 And I know, right? Instead of favorites in general, perhaps it’s better described as “my latest favorite obsession”. I think that would cover us! hehe

  4. Mary Roff 1 month ago

    Beautiful birds, Charlie!! Sounds like you had a wonderful evening!!! i managed to work and play today and spent most of the morning talking to a friend who lives up north. We’ve had a standing Sunday morning phone chat for probably 30 plus years and those calls can go on for as long as 3 hours every Sunday. It’s a huge bright spot in my week and we cover every topic under the sun. Nothing like a good friend to spend the morning with…even if it is over the phone.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Thanks so much, Mary! 😃💕 Oh my goodness I completely adore you have a 30 year old weekly phone chat with a friend!! That’s the coolest thing ever!!!❤️

  5. Brenda Mohr 1 month ago

    These little birds are beautiful! I never heard of these before. What a treat to see your painting. I’m going to borrow some ideas from this to re-do my Lilac-breasted Roller bird I posted for today’s WorldWatercolorGroup challenge. Wish I could have been a fly on the wall to hear your group’s singing! Sounds like fun!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Thanks so much, Brenda! 😃💕 Aww thanks! You know it’s one of those times when you’re with friends and having wine so everything sounds perfect! lol This is why I don’t do videos, as one can never be sure.

  6. Lisa Ann Ulibarri 1 month ago

    So beautiful!!!! 🙂

  7. Lisa 1 month ago

    Those birds are something! I’ve never heard of them before. It was a lot quieter here today. I watered some plants and painted some pears. I realized I need to get some new glasses. I can’t seem to keep within the lines!! 😂

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Thanks so much, Lisa! 😃💕 I hadn’t heard of these birds either so I figured I must sketch them! Sounds like you had a perfectly wonderful time. I can never color within in the lines! hehe

  8. Priscilla DeConti 1 month ago

    Lovely birds and I agree its always nice to do a little something each day of something you love!! Thanks again for the inspirations!!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Thanks, Priscilla! 😃💕 Yes, just a little something of what we love is well… everything!

  9. Mugdha 1 month ago

    Hello Charlie,

    The Superb Starlings are truly superb! Thank you for teaching me something new again. 🙂 If you like birds, please do check out the Indian Roller. Its my favorite. When it sits on a branch, it looks like a boring light brown but when it spreads its wings to take flight, the feathers under their wings show a brilliant palette of dazzling blues. It would be lovely to see if you like them enough to sketch them. And yes, its blue – your most used color. 🙂

    Love,
    Mugdha

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Thanks so much, Mugdha! 😃💕 Aww the Indian Roller looks lovely.. I’ll add that to my list!

  10. Fatima Chamkha 1 month ago

    Fantastic Charlie you birds !

  11. Cathy 1 month ago

    Bonjour de France, sommes lundi ici, j’adore le bleu, tous les bleus, ils m’envahissent dans ma vie, ma voiture est bleue, une partie de ma décoration, une partie de mes vêtements, et dans mes aquarelles aussi, mais je ne sais pas pourquoi cette couleur s’impose à moi – mes lunettes sont bleues comme les vôtres – j’ai bien aimé ce petit concours, où vous avez pris la peine, de nous répondre à tous – merci pour çà ! et bravo aux gagnants !

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Merci beaucoup, Cathy! 😃💕 Blue is such a wonderful color indeed! I use it every chance I get!

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