Quilled Hummingbird and Fuchsia
One of my clients asked for a hummingbird. She sent over a photo of another quilled hummingbird with a lot of scrollwork and bright colors. I wasn’t sure whether she was drawn to the piece because of the scrollwork or the colors or the position of the bird. So I asked. I’m glad I did. She told me she didn’t really care for the scrolly, flourishy addons, and instead wanted a more realistic looking bird. She also told me she didn’t care what kind of flower it was feeding on.
I’m kind of a literal person, it’s just my personality. So when someone says “I want one like this” my brain says “replicate.” In this case, replication was not the answer.
I was really, really excited to have a reason to buy some gilded paper. I had recently found a stash of green and used it in a couple of monograms and loved it. But, it’s kind of expensive so without a specific reason, I felt guilty just buying it to have on hand. I thought that this bird needed some gilding, so bought green and red. I wasn’t sure what shade of red to get, so I bought a ruby shade and red. I’m really glad I did because the ruby shade worked perfectly for the fuchsias.
I used a picture I’d taken of a hummingbird last summer for the body position. I looked at hundreds of images on the web but couldn’t find one that was “just right.” It turns out I had one in my own private stash! I used a black watercolor marker to fill in the entire head so there was no white background showing through. The beak is actually empty, it’s just two outlines. I used a white gel pen to create the highlight on the eye.
The wings were created using a quilling comb. You can buy one at Quilled Creations. I made each flight feather shorter by one rung until I got to the bottom. I also created two dark grey tail feathers using the comb.
I modeled the fuchsia after some images I found on Pinterest. They were really simple, but time-consuming. Each has three purple bulbs, four petals, and a stem. I used the ruby gilded paper to outline each of the four petals and made the stamen with that paper as well.
I kind of feel like I cheated on my favorite quilling company (Quilled Creations). I hope at some point in the future they start to carry gilded paper because it really adds a nice touch to some pieces. I’ll just have to be patient. Psst Michael, get some gilded paper in!