Friday, 6 June 2008

Rainbow Lorikeet - Work In Progress - Final

All finished....apart from varnishing....
Rainbow Lorikeet - Acrylics on 12"x12" gallery-wrapped canvas - © Serena Lewis
Click on image to enlarge


  1. Beautiful painting Serena! What a beautiful bird...I feel like I could reach out and touch her.

    How do you varnish the canvas...with a bush or an acrylic spray? It's all new to me so I hope you don't mind if I pick your brain!

  2. Hi Kate! Thanks for your lovely comment. :)

    I think varnishing really comes down to personal choice. Normally, for my nature paintings, I would use a matte finishing spray but, for this particular piece I think I will try the brush-on Liquitex (Waterbased) Gloss Medium Varnish. I think the gloss varnish will enhance the colours in the bird and also add more realism to the shiny surfaces of the table and mug. From different art-related forums I have been involved with, the majority of artists do seem to prefer a gloss or satin finish but, again, it's really personal choice. I'm not a fan of gloss sprays as I have found them to be very thick and tacky in the past so I would advise a brush-on if you plan on using a gloss varnish.

    Avoid using Polyeurethane varnishes on canvas. They are heat resistant and therefore dry very hard so could be prone to cracking on canvas.

    Here are a couple of great links which gives some great info on different types of varnish. The product in the videos is the Matisse brand but the information could apply to all varnishes. and

  3. well done Serena, the piece came out just beautifully!

  4. BEAUTIFUL! I LOVE the rainbow lorikeet's expression. It does make you want to stroke his feathers. Love his intelligent eyes :-) Beautiful work, Serena.

    Be careful with your varnishing! (says Maria after her near-miss)LOL

  5. Your painting is fantastic! It just looks like a photograph, it's so life-like. I envy you such talent.

  6. I can't get over the highlights in that coffee and the reflection on the table! The whole painting is just stunning, but those just blow me away. This is simply terrific Serena - you must be very proud.

  7. Thank you, Judith! I appreciate you stopping by. :)

    Thanks, Maria....the varnishing stage always scares me as I've had bad experiences of my own in the past but, cross fingers, this one will work okay. I may trial the Liquitex Gloss Varnish on another piece first just to be on the safe side. Wish me luck..... :)

    Thank you, Janet! That's very sweet of you to say. :)

    Thanks, juj! :) I am pleased with how it turned out. I'm not a people painter so I know the arm could be better but I wasn't overly worried as long as I got the bird reasonably close.

  8. This is wonderful! :D Lovely colours and great expression on the birds face. Very full of life :D

  9. Just lovely Serena :) The colours and brushwork are fantastic :)

  10. Quite amazing Serena. A painting that I would love to see in person and study for a while taking in all the masterful realism.

    Very well crafted and wisely done. I loved watching the steps you took to bring it to completion. Thank you for sharing your wonderful process.

  11. Serena, how beautiful! I love the reflections and the colour that you have captured!

  12. Stunning piece of work. The colours are so alive and his (or is it her?) feathers feel so fluffy. ... but I suppose I should not say this as it is secondary to the bird, I simply love the liquid with its highlight in the pot. By the way thanks for all the info on varnishes.

  13. I just showed this painting to all my family! It is amazingly wonderful! Congrats on perfection!!!

  14. Thank you all for your wonderful comments.

    Joan, the bird is a 'he'. :)

  15. Serena, you nailed this. Incredible.

    You are the Queen of Texture.

    I am always amazed at how well you work acrylics. They are more difficult than oils in many ways.

  16. This turned out GORGEOUS!!! You have to be proud of this! How many hours do you estimate you put into this painting from start to finish?

    Also, how is your daughter's recovery from the auto accident? She doing well?

  17. So very beautiful Serena! It
    look's so real. Amazing!
    Thanks for sharing the tips
    and the links!

    Thank you also for putting
    Emma and Heather on your
    prayer list!

    God Bless You and Yours
    and Your Creative Life!!!

  18. congratulations on a beautiful painting, serena!! i hope the varnishing goes well!!

  19. Bravo!! I really thought this was a photo of the real thing when I saw it. It's very amazing --you should be proud!
    Love the photos of the rain forest on your previous post too.

  20. Thanks, Jessica....I love working with acrylics but I would like to try oils some day. I was a young child when I last used oil paints. My Mum and Dad still have the painting on their wall. I can't claim that it was solely my own work though as the old chap a few doors down was an artist and he was helping me A LOT throughout the painting process.

    Thanks, Kate. I didn't monitor my hours but, roughly working out the times that I did manage to sit down and work on the painting over the past month, I would estimate about 20 hours. Six months on from Michelle's car accident, her doctor is allowing her back to work on a strict schedule...only 3 days a week, 4 hours a day and she must be allowed a 10 minute break every hour. Her place of employment has been very accommodating and they have made sure her work station is suited to her injury such as her chair etc. She is happy about going back to work but, as she is still living with chronic pain daily, she is concerned that her body will not cope physically. She is considering acupuncture to help with the pain because the pain patches from the doctor just don't help at all. Thanks for asking after her, Kate.

    Thanks, Flassie, and you're very welcome. Sadly, I have had to add a couple more people to my prayer list this past week. :)

    Thanks, Leah...I hope so too.

    Thanks, judybec ~ :)

  21. So sorry to read about your daughter's accident and how she is struggling to get back to normal life. It must be hard as a mother watching one's child suffer in this way. I too will add her to my evening healing prayers.

  22. Wowee Serena! This is absolutely incredible!!!! The light quality is amazing.

  23. Thank you so much, Joan....your healing prayers for Michelle are much appreciated. :)

    Thanks, Suzanne ~ :)

  24. You captured the bird's inquisitiveness perfectly - and the colors are glorious!

  25. Oh my gosh! I thougnt this was a photo! Your work is just awesome! Marva

  26. I am a bird lover and you have captured the spirit of this one! I am just blown away by you paintings that I've seen so far on your blog and will be sure to come back and finish snooping. :)

    Your daughter is in my prayers.


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