Creating robin's egg blue offers a gratifying opportunity to reproduce a colour from nature. The process can be tricky due to variations in colour in robin's eggs and the need to create a range of shades to produce a realistic blue robin's egg complete with shadows and light, as an egg appears in nature. The design website at Palomar University points out that one painter's robin's egg won't be the same as another's. Apply basic colour mixing techniques to coordinate colours for a blue robin's egg.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Robin's egg pieces---find under trees and bushes in the spring
- Photos of robin's eggs
- Paint: white, ultramarine blue and lemon chrome green
- Palette knife
- Paint brushes
- Art paper or canvas
Set up your work area in natural light, such as at a table outside or near a window. Assemble your painting equipment and place a piece of robin's egg shell or a picture of a robin's blue egg in the desired shade in convenient view on the table.
Squeeze three dabs of white paint onto the palette to perform as the base of your coordinating paint colours for the blue robin's egg. Depending on the size of the robin's egg you'll be painting, start with a dime-size dab or larger.
Squeeze a tiny amount of ultramarine blue, no more than 1/8 inch, onto one of the dabs of white. Mix it in with a palette knife. George Armstrong, in his "Cyclopedia of Painting," recommends this mixture of white with ultramarine blue and a touch of lemon chrome green.
Add an even tinier amount of lemon chrome green paint to the dab of white mixed with ultramarine blue. Mix the paint thoroughly. Check the result with the robin's egg shell or the picture of the blue robin's egg.
Coordinate the paint colours for the blue robin's egg by making the next two robin's egg blue paint mixtures lighter or darker than the first one. If the robin's egg blue you just created is darker than you want for your blue robin's egg, use that batch for the shadow colour. Mix the next robin's egg blue paint with less ultramarine blue and lemon chrome green than you used the first time. If it's still too dark, add more white until you achieve the desired shade of blue.
Create an even lighter robin's egg blue by using more white than the previous mixture of paint. This will create the highlight on the egg.
Paint a stripe of each of the colours on a piece of art paper. Allow to dry.
Check the dry paint colours against the robin's egg shell or the picture. Adjust the colours lighter or darker if needed, by adding white to lighten and ultramarine blue to darken. Use the lemon chrome green sparingly to give the robin's egg blue the characteristic blue-green effect. Too much will make the egg too green.
Draw the robin's egg for your painting. Paint the robin's egg the medium shade of robin's egg blue.
Coordinate the paint colours by using the darker shade of robin's egg blue to paint the shadowed areas of the robin's egg. For example, if the robin's egg is lying on its side in a nest, the lower area of the egg near where it touches the nest will be in shadow. Paint these areas the darker shade.
Highlight the thickest part of the robin's egg, where the light touches it, with the lightest shade of robin's egg blue to create the highlight.
Tips and warnings
- For painting indoors in the winter, use a sunlight or full-spectrum bulb. These bulbs mimic natural daylight.
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