Monday, February 11, 2008

Crested Crane

For The Birds
Sunday's I try to do as little as possible, sleep late, then head off to the beach to add a little sunshine to my life. It sometimes annoys me when I can see the ocean from my balcony, watch the ships heading in and out of the harbour and imagine I am on a yacht skimming across the bay. I might as well be a 1000 miles inland for all the time I get to spend at the beach. The perpetual summer and wonderful weather it seems are the exclusive preserves of the tourists and holidaymakers.

A Mere mortal like myself still has to earn her daily bread and can only dream of long lazy summer days sipping cocktails on the beach. Yesterday was one of those days where I could take time off for myself and enjoy one of life's little pleasures. When the wind started to blow a bit I decided to visit the local bird park and take in the sights and sounds away from the hustle and bustle of the beach front.

With my trusty didgtal camera in hand I managed to get some pictures for new material to paint, so for the next few weeks I will probably be on a bird trip. Most of the pictures were taken through wire mesh so I will probably have to make up the backgrounds as I go along.

A while ago I did an oil painting of a crested crane and promised myself I would try and do a few more birds. The bird park has birds from the four corners of the earth so I will try and have a bit of fun painting birds from different countries.



The Crested Crane is the national symbol of Uganda and its colours black yellow and red are reflected in the three colours of the Ugandan flag and coat of arms.

An oil painting on stretched canvas 30"w x 26" (760w x 670mm H) inspired by my love of colour the sunset over the lake reflects off the water giving the normally black feathers a grey look.

Todays painting took a lot less time, but I am finding water colours a lot less forgiving than oil. Correcting mistakes is a lot harder especially when it comes to the small details.

I started the day with every intention of using some of the photos I had taken of the birds at the bird park but just felt uninspired by my photography.

Whilst looking at reference materials I came across this amazing picture in a 13 year old magazine of a Royal Doulton Plate with an Imperial Hummingbird and Hibiscus Blossem. The plate had all the colours and textures I enjoy using so I decided to do my own water colour version of the picture.

The original artist for the plate was Theresa Politowicz. I cropped a bit of the wing on the photo as the painting had not quiet dried and the angle on the easel skewed it a bit. Its actually a very small painting but I have not measured it yet and will add the dimensions later.

1 comment:

Treehouse Dwellers said...

We are birders (sort of) which is difficult in NZ. We love the African birds and next time we are there we will take a BIG lens and enjoy the huge variety of birdlife there. Africa is an inspiring place to be an artist.