Bird Series: Tufted Titmouse

The bird that started it all….

Title: Tufted Titmouse

Medium: Watercolor on paper

Size: 8″ x 10″

When: Fall 2014

Time to complete: A few hours

Thought process: This painting was….challenging yet enjoyable.

I remember I had been sitting at our dining room table trying to figure out what I was going to use as my inspiration for my next piece. Something outside our sliding glass door caught my eye, and it was my favorite bird, Spike. Spike is a Tufted Titmouse, which just happens to be my favorite kind of bird. They look like the just woke up and have bed hair and rolled around in some dust; they’re just adorable! As I watched him eat (he has a distinct way he eats, in which he will try to crack open seeds between his feet on the bird feeder, rather than fly away like the other titmice), I thought he’d be a fun subject to try and paint, and I got to work!

Problems I encountered: I was out of practice with watercolors and haven’t really attempted them before. It wasn’t super difficult, but just enough to make me really work for this piece to look nice!

Getting the proportion of chubby bird belly to the rest of the bird size was challenging 🙂

Favorite part: All of it! I think he’s super cute. And I think framing him made him even cuter:

Least favorite part: Letting him go. I would love to be able to keep this painting, but as I keep getting reminded, we’d have to build more walls or move to a bigger house if I kept all of the paintings and drawings that I fell in love with!

Fun tidbits:

I have a confession: I am really really really uncomfortable with watercolors.

At least I was.

Watercolor paints are intimidating to me. I like to take my time and go back and rework areas, but with watercolors, you have to move fast. If you make a mistake, you might be able to fix it, or you might just end up with it looking muddy and even worse than it was to begin with.

Questions about this piece:

What made you decide to attempt watercolors again? 

I had just signed up for the arts and crafts fair in December, and needed products quickly! I thought that I’d give these a try, and would either end up with something I loved or hated really quickly, and that if I hated it, I would still have a lot of time to try some other medium to create with.

Was starting out watercolors with a bird hard or easy?

I thought it would be harder than doing a group of trees, but actually doing Rain on the Lake was harder! This one was easy as the colors were soft and just very light washes of color. Getting the dark layers on Rain to look nice and even was super tricky!


Product availability: Available as the original, prints, in the Assorted Bird note cards, and he can also be his own set of note cards as well. If you would like him by himself as a set of 10 note cards, please email me at until I get each individual bird up as their own personal set.