Goldfinch - 52 Weeks of Watercolor Birds #Watercolor #WatercolorBirds #ArtJournal

I started my birds for the FREE year-long event, '52 Weeks of Watercolour Birds' a bit late.  Three birds had already been done.  I've got the jay and now the goldfinch done, and hope to have the wood pigeon finished before the next bird is up (which will have happened by the time I have posted this painting).

Would you help me out? After I painted this and let the paint dry, I felt it was done and scanned it, but was unhappy with the flow of the pine needles and clouds.  Being me, I started fussing, and was happy with some changes, but felt I messed up other areas.   Would you tell me which of these three you prefer? It would be helpful to know if I was fighting phantoms or actually seeing flaws and addressing them, lol.

I'm painting my birds in a 7" x 10" Hand*Book Field Watercolor Journal made with Fluid Watercolor Paper that I received for Christmas (yes! Santa and friends were very kind to me!).  However, as I mentioned with my first bird, in order to get all 52 weeks in this book, I had to use the inside covers.  For this bird, I glued a piece of Arches watercolor paper on the front inside.

One of my other Christmas presents was a 6-color set of Qor watercolors, the Earth colors tin containing Indigo, Venetian Red, Naples Yellow, Sap Green, Transparent Brown Oxide and Raw Umber.It's a very muted, dark palette.  I felt the colors would work for the Goldfinch, so, with the addition of Cobalt Blue for the sky, and a little Hansa Yellow Medium (both Daniel Smith brand), I was ready to go.

No special techniques used -- a touch of wet-in-wet and some lifting (the clouds in the sky mostly, and to lighten the head of the bird).