Rainbow Bee-Eater in Gouache

Well times running out so I better submit one last post for 2019 in my painting wildlife series.

I could not believe how colourful the rainbow bee-eater was, I was mesmerised by it darting around last year.

I was super excited to see a whole range of new bird species around Bundaberg that were totally different from the birds of the Blue Mountains that I was used to.

The beach was wonderful and I had a swim in the warm QLD water. I found out that a small boy was bitten by a shark two weeks later on this very beach.


If you want to read more about my original blog Finally on my Australian Road Trip

Pencil outline

I have had the good graces of my friends to give me a place to stay away from the recent bush fires that engulfed parts of the Blue Mountains for a few days.

I was able to relax from the fires, paint and start framing Christmas presents for the family. Thank you so much for your generosity in giving me a place to stay and your company.

When painting the main subject I start with the eyes

My work space, water colour paper, Gouache, iPad with selected images I can zoom in on and paint all the details. A limited pallet of a few basic colours and a few brushes.

Thanks to my family’s gift cards and money for Christmas, I now have more brushes, larger range of colours and some different types of water colour paper to choose from.

IMG_3586 2

Finished artwork on Archers 300g Cold Pressed water colour paper. Unfortunately I forgot to take progress photos this time as I was so absorbed in painting, so you only get the final image.

Framing my artwork and creating a style

As I had a few days up my sleeve so to speak I purchased some frames and cut art board to make some Christmas presents and protect my art work from getting damaged.

Framed and mounted

They looked nice but its not quite what I was looking for, I was after a much lighter look and something to make my artwork stand out.

So I decided to go back to the art shop and after an 1hr talking to the framer we decided on a wood grain picture frame. Unfortunately a few days before Christmas he only had two of the 4 frames on offer, luckily he had the one I was after.

Frame samples

After discussions with the framer I had decided I liked the natural torn paper look of archers paper. The problem was, this was not a large sheet of archers paper, so I had to create the torn look myself. The next problem was, I couldn’t make a mistake as the art work was already finished and only mm from the artwork.

So wetting the edges and folding the paper both ways, I pulled apart the fibres with a pair of tweezers. This took around half an hour and I was terrified the whole time.

Back to the framers with my artwork and hopefully a new look and style I could call my own.

Two days later I had my finished are work ready to hang and I now going forward I know what my style will look like.


I like the torn edges and have realised that this needs to be about 50mm away from the edge of the artwork.

The rainbow bee-eater was painted while I was getting this one framed, so I know it will look much better than this one, when it gets framed.

Once the artwork is hung on a wall, the torn edges create a nice drop shadows below the paper as this is raised off the backing mount board. I was unable to show this because I photographed it on the floor.


What do you think, do you like the nice clean white look the framer and I decided on?

Would you choose straight paper edges or do you like the rough torn edges I have created?

Just remember they will look like the rainbow bee-eater with the extra space around the artwork.

Thank you for following me in 2019, hope to see you all back in 2020.

Happy New Year……


4 thoughts on “Rainbow Bee-Eater in Gouache

  1. I like the torn edges, not sure if the white is more effective or not. Love the rainbow bee eater, a beautiful painting of a beautiful bird, saw quite a few of the lovely birds on a recent trip to woodgate a great place to visit.


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