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Female Rufous Hummingbird

A “Female Rufous Hummingbird” is the next painting in the Birds in Pastel series. She is depicted in flight as she is about to visit a rose and was painted on 9″x12″ white pastel mat paper.

As I shared in my previous post, Rufous are my favorite of the Hummingbirds that visit our area. The varieties of hummingbirds that arrive in the spring are Calliope, the Ruby Throated Hummingbird and the Black-chinned Hummingbird. Last year we seemed to have an abundance of each variety and I was kept busy keeping the feeders filled! But I love these beautiful birds so much, feeding them is a joy.

The “Female Rufous Hummingbird” pastel painting was a bit on the difficult side for me. I decided not to use an underpainting to see exactly why one is not supposed to paint on white pastel paper. Well I understand fully now! There isn’t any vibrance to the painting. I struggled with trying to paint the background because it was so dull and added way more product than was necessary. Then I had a hard time trying to depict the motion of the bird’s wings and scraped off pastel and reworked the piece many times. I finally just gave up and said it is what it is! This painting will go in the never to be seen again file.

Rufous Hummingbird
“Female Rufous Hummingbird”

I think you can agree that the piece is not vibrant. So, lesson learned, don’t paint on white pastel paper without an underpainting! All is not lost because I learned valuable information and had more practice painting birds in pastel. Nothing gained is ever lost and more time at the easel is what I’m working for, so all is good! By the way, the QR code is not on the original painting. I’d be a genius if I could paint that! 🙂 If anyone likes this painting and wants it, let me know in the comments below and I will send it to you! Seriously!

Well that’s all I have to share for now. I’m kicking around the idea of painting some more hummingbird pastels now that I’ve done a couple and have a feel for them on paper. More to come! Thanks for stopping in. Much love ~ Rhonda

  • Red Cardinal
  • Back Capped Chickadee Pastel
  • Black Capped Chickadee in the Snow
  • Blue Jay in the Forest Pastel
  • Hummingbird and Lilacs
  • Rufous Hummingbird
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Hummingbird and Lilacs

Continuing with my Birds in Pastel Series, I am sharing the latest pastel painting entitled “Hummingbird and Lilacs”. I love Hummingbirds! I put out at least four hummingbird feeders every spring and have 100’s of birds, so it seems, at the feeders in early spring. We typically have four varieties of Hummingbirds, my favorite among them is the Rufous Hummingbird.

The Rufous hummingbirds are super fierce and territorial! They will sit nearby and wait until another bird comes to the feeder for a drink, then dive bomb that bird to chase it away. It’s so much fun to watch!

I made a swing for the hummingbirds and it warmed by spirit to see them using it!

Hummingbirds and Swing

Here is my next installation in the Birds in Pastel series of a Rufous Hummingbird and purple lilac flowers:

Hummingbird and Lilacs
“Hummingbird and Lilacs”

“Hummingbird and Lilacs” was painted on white Pastel Mat paper with soft pastels. I used a watercolor under painting before adding pastels to bring a certain vibrance to the painting which I think was very successful.

This piece is the second painting I’ve done of this subject. The first painting was painted in oils on a 4″x4″ box canvas. I gave the painting to my mother for her birthday a few years ago. She passed last September and I was supposed to get the painting back, but in the cleaning out of her home so it could be sold, my painting was lost to either someone in the family who took it and won’t fess up, or it was given to charity. I was very upset at loosing that painting because it was one of my favorites. I guess I should be flattered that someone liked it so much they had to take it, but it’s a shame I don’t know what happened to it, especially if it ended up in the trash heap marked for charity !~ Here’s what it looked like:


I used the image of the original oil painting as my reference for the new pastel painting and now I have my Hummingbird and Lilacs painting back, only better! It will be framed by my framer who I’ve given carte blanche to frame it as she wants because she has very good taste. I can’t wait to see it on my wall.

Stay tuned for more Birds in Pastel! I have another hummingbird painting to share next. Thanks for taking time to stop by! Much Love ~ Rhonda

{The Tamarack Mountain Studio watermark and QR code are not on the original paintings.}

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