Blue crowned motmot Costa Rican birds original watercolor painting Blue Jay Bay

In the new year, I am trying to prioritize finding time to paint for my own enjoyment… Taking on new subjects, trying out new paint colors, different painting techniques and styles, etc.  I have thousands upon thousands of photographs taken over the past couple decades, and enjoy browsing them for painting inspirations.  It was in my folder of Costa Rica photos that I found a series of images of a beautiful male blue-crowned motmot, and decided to use him as inspiration for a new bird watercolor.

My husband and I celebrated our 10 year anniversary last spring with a trip to Costa Rica.  We visited Monteverde and Manuel Antonio, and took lots of photos.  We photographed this blue-crowned motmot on the side of the road after leaving a cloud forest preserve in Monteverde. We saw him fly across the dirt road and perch in a nearby tree…  His long tail was easily visible with those blue racquet tips, and he stayed in one spot long enough for us both to get a good look.  What a gorgeous bird he is!

My watercolor palette is almost entirely devoted to Winsor & Newton paints, but I have one luminescent blue paint from Daniel Smith that I love to incorporate into certain designs.  It was the perfect paint to use on the turquoise areas of my motmot! It brings a bit of sparkle and iridescent shine to the feathers.

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