Rainbow Lorikeet and Eucalyptus – Bird Painting In Watercolour

Rainbow Lorikeet and Eucalyptus – BIRD Painting In Watercolour

It has been such a busy few months, with almost all of my time going out to teaching lately… And as I look ahead it seems theres plenty more of teaching on my calendar to come too, which is exciting! Ive had painting workshops and retreats in Melbourne & Tassie this year already, and coming up in a couple of weeks time Ill be in Queensland for my Gold Coast Kingfisher event too.

I havent stopped! On top of everything else, I am really excited about the new PATREON Painting Lessons that are now live for you to learn from too. Im also building these into courses that Ill offer on Udemy in due course too…. but Patreon students get first dibs on those, so perhaps youll join me there for those. I love teaching, and it has been so great getting back into making fresh online painting tutorials for you again after my time spent engrossed in 2 years solid of commissions to complete over our Covid years, 47…. and a half paintings in all for that series so far, so an epic undertaking indeed. Someday I will be able to share those illustrations with you Im sure. For now though, its onwards, all hands on deck, and heads down bums up working in this bubble of my studio.

This morning I woke and continued working on my magazine articles Ive been writing and I thought to myself, you know, I just really need to take a moment and return to my own painting for a moment. And I did just that. It has been far too long, but I took time out today to play with a new addition to my 10×14 inch classic styled natural history illustration studies in watercolour, adding a new Rainbow Lorikeet to the two you see below (both of these studies are sold).










Its a series I adore working on, and one that has certainly proved popular with my clients too which is nice. With only one in this collection remaining available, Im looking forward to this new addition. The Rainbow Lorikeet feels like just the remedy to lift my energy and spirits, being so vibrant, jam packed with such outrageous colour and beauty. Ive been wanting to add more parrot portraits to this for long enough, and the Lorikeet is not only in my sights, its on the table and I love it already.


Lorikeets in watercolour are insanely complicated to paint… at least to do the, well in any case. The are one conglomerate of ordered chaos, incompatible colours, complexity and intensity. Nothing starts or ends neatly, they just bleed from one crazy thing to the next, all at once and in watercolour this is a recipe for disaster. Perhaps even a few recipes for disasters in one beautiful parrot. They are a challenge, but Im up for the task.

For the plant or botanical element I couldnt go past the orange eucalyptus as I was after outrageous colour, they are flowering all around me lately and I find myself awe struck every time, and it has been too long since I tackled a good cluster of Eucalyptus flowers! I do love their very real challenge too.

This series is all about its classic styling, elegance and compared to my other style, its relative compositional simplicity. The detailing is the same, in this series, the works just have a little more breathing room. So with a little much needed time to myself feeding my own visions again, and the layout decided, Ive gone ahead and created the drawing for this painting study ready for its explosion of colour to come next. I hope you enjoy following along with me here.




The first splash of orange goes down and i develop the gum blossom flowers in delicate strokes and layers to bring them to life. The colour is so alive and vibrant… which is completely lost here on social media of course! But in the flesh it lives already and what a pleasure it is to puddle about in such beauty as this eucalyptus is. With the flowers in I move on to the branch which is a gorgeous painting subject in itself. The flowering gum branches are so incredibly textural, diverse, exciting and colourful. The palette is large and its all about playing with colour here. Something about the branches always bring meaning and structure to the flowers, which seem so lost without them



Now Ive completed the leaves, bringing new colour and elements to the painting. With the leaves that rest behind the orange gum blossom in, the flowers above can also receive their final touches and refinement to complete.

The botanical element of this painting is now complete, flowers, branches and now the leaves, and we are left with just the tricky Lorikeet to paint. This colour burst is both exciting and difficult to capture in watercolours, but Im ready and looking forward to picking my way into and out of this gorgeous bird. Its about time I painted these again!







With the botanical illustration component of my painting completed, the study really starts to burst with colour as I add the Rainbow Lorikeet to the brilliant orange of the eucalyptus. Here the Lorikeet is incomplete, but you can see the intricate colour shifts, intensity, detailing of the brightly coloured feathers, that wonderfully intense red eye staring right at you as they do. I have a little work to come on the shoulder, the feet and the tail to go, but its coming together beautifully, I think!  How Ive enjoyed returning to this series, and working on such a joyful combination of subjects.










Here we have the completed rainbow lorikeet illustration and weve come to the end of this painting, telling the story of this brightly coloured, big personality Aussie bird in watercolour. Thanks for following along 🙏🏻









‘Rainbow Lorikeet and Flowering Gum’ is on a 10x14in sheet and is rendered in watercolour. This original is currently available so let me know if its a good fit for you. I also offer payment plans that work so well for so many, so message me if you have any questions.