Painting a Bittern “alla prima”

Hello friends. I want to start this blog with this little painting of a Eurasian Bittern with which I enjoyed the speed of its execution, in just three hours. And not for laziness, but to compel me to work more by instinct, without much time to think, which often yields unexpected results. Let yourself be guided by the heart. Let’s go there:

Paso 1

( Rupicapra rupicapra )

I begin by covering the white of the canvas with a diluted hand of raw sienna. On this basis, still fresh, “draw” directly with the brush, resolving some masses. You can see how I have divided the canvas into thirds to facilitate the transfer of the sketch on paper to the canvas.

Paso 2

Paso 3

Add some notes of color, mainly to the background

Paso 4

… and now, to the bird.

Paso 5

I continue giving shape with energetic brushstrokes and trying to find a background that convinces me. So far I have only used bristle brushes.


I give the details of the plumage using soft brushes, with a single touch, and I use the base of the brush to scratch the canvas and to recreate those so beautiful “threads” of the plumage of the Bitterns. With the spatula, I decide to subtract part of the background … and convince me, insinuated. The oil is still fresh, so I sign it with the brush stick.

To moo, little bird! 🙂 … because these strange herons moo as the bulls. Although to me this weird sound reminds me more of a Didgeridoo of Australian aborigines. Look … and listen:

Song of the Bittern:

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