Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Birds

I don´t support the human habit of stuffing animals, I think it´s actually quite sickening, but when I get a chance I can´t help but looking, studying their shapes, colors and features. I rarely draw animals, especially birds, they are all so fast, far away and shy, and you have to spend so much time waiting to get a good chance of actually drawing them.

This weekend we went down to my in-laws and they have a few stuffed animals in their home. They don´t support the sport either, but they have a few specimens that came with their house, an old village school, and they kept them since they have a history there.

I made a few drawings of a duck and an owl standing on a shelf in their living room, and some color studies of this little guy. Luckily, I don´t know what this bird is called in English, so I don´t have to listen to experts saying it doesn´t look like a ... whatever it´s called.

I never painted birds in watercolors before and I guess I shouldn´t expect it to be easy, but I was still a bit surprised at how incredibly difficult it was. Their feathers have such subtle changes in color and everything I did with my paintbrush felt like clumsily walking around in a shop full of glass and china with a huge backpack on.

This experience made me admire Swedish bird-painter Lars Jonsson even more. Take a look at his work here. There is an introduction in English, the rest of the homepage is in Swedish but I think you´ll find the paintings quite easily. Can you imagine that this guy does it by observing the birds in their natural habitat?

18 comments:

andrea joseph's sketchblog said...

How gorgeous, so sensitive.

SCquiltaddict said...

the faces are wonderful..thanks for sharing...

suzanne said...

These are so sweet, elegant, simple. Oh, I have tons of adjectives to describe. Love them!

Kate (Cathy Johnson) said...

These are lovely, Nina. And like you, I've painted from mounts more or less reluctantly but gratefully!

I know Lars Jonsson's work, it's beautiful, isn't it!

pedalpower said...

These are so lovely. I love birds, but haven't tried to draw them yet because they move around too much. You hit on a good way to get familiar with the anatomy.

Shelly McC said...

Wow! Stunning stuff!

Lindsay said...

Lovely! Your paintings are so beautiful

let's talk said...

As always Nina I am delighted at the opportunity to view your amazing talent. LOVE your sweet birds.

littlemithi said...

These are absolutely beautiful (says the bird lover)! One day I'm going to go down to the natural history museum and do some studies too.

Rachel Murphree said...

Oh Nina, these are so sweet, precious birds. wow. Love them, and love how you painted them negatively in their little rounded squares. I was just thinking -- where can I find bird speciments, and then saw Mithi's comment. Great idea -- I'm a birdwatcher and was going to go to our zoo's aviary and sketch them, but they'll still move a lot even though confined in their large space!

wagonized said...

Like Suzanne, the word that comes to mind here is elegant. And delicate. And simply beautiful.

Terry Banderas said...

These bird paintings are simple and beautiful.

pacoandfriends said...

How cute and cute and cute :-)

Nancy Van Blaricom said...

Your little paintings are simple but yet they say so much. You have captured them well.

clearmark said...

Cute and Beautiful.
I enjoy your style of drawing birds.

andrea joseph's sketchblog said...

Just looking again at these gorgeous birds. So simple and beautiful. Did you draw them first - or just paint them?

Ester said...

Happy Halloween!

Anonymous said...

Years ago I earned my living as a Taxidermist and did a lot of birds. Its really an art form...one with a lot of help from the bird. Since then I have done a lot of drawings, many bird sketches. If you want to try simulating feathers, hold a brush close to the tip, splay the brush end and paint wet on dry paper. You can actually get the parallel pattern of a feather quite closely.