Color of Bird Feathers

As I continue lessons in watercolor painting of Shorebirds with Ian de Hoog, our bird subjects these past weeks brings color of feathers to mind.

The colors in the feathers of a bird are formed in two different ways, from either pigments or from light refraction caused by the structure of the feather.

Of course, the feathers I put on my avian models are watercolor! Enjoy.

Yellow Crowned Night Heron – on my palette: Yellow Ochre. Janes Gray. Rose of Ultramarine

Sketchbook page: Stillman & Birn zeta series

Pelagic Cormorant: Ultramarine Blue. Hookers Green. Neutral Tint. Violet. This bird has iridescent feathers, which I have not mastered in watercolor.

Please excuse my misspelling Cormorant!

To learn more about the science of feathers here is a good summary.

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