|"Bald Eagles" Colored Pencil|
Birds have inhabited the earth for 160 million years. Incredibly, they represent a direct link to the last dinosaurs. Since the dawn of civilization, birds and their spectacular gift of flight have fascinated humans. The sheer diversity of their appearance, behavior and personality is astonishing. Prehistoric peoples featured them in culture as birds were often depicted symbolically in early cave paintings. It seems like artists have always appreciated their beauty because birds have appeared in masterpieces throughout the history of art.
Today, seeing birds has become so common and their songs so familiar, that sometimes their true existence is taken for granted. Avid birders now use high-powered binoculars and cameras to document rare sightings and check off life-lists. Their field guides are beautifully illustrated with great precision by talented draughtsmen, who meticulously render each and every feather. My artistic style is realist but I'm inclined to simplify details, strengthen colors and exaggerate the prominent features in order to capture the essence of a species.
Whether an artist is striving for photo-realism or a more abstract representation, I've found that colored pencils are well suited to handle either request. I prefer a restrained composition with subtle hues and soft edges to express a tranquil mood. Starting with a sheet of textured paper, I begin drawing the eyes first and work outwards from there. Next, using an impressionistic application, the color is built up patiently, through multiple, transparent layers. Finally, when completed, I hope my sincere enthusiasm for our feathered friends shows through and inspires others to appreciate birds as much as I do.
|Osprey ~ Colored Pencil|
|Yellow-eyed Hawk ~ Colored Pencil|
|Stellar's Jay ~ Colored Pencil|
|Canada Goose ~ Colored Pencil|
|Mountain Bluebird ~ Colored Pencil|
|Great Horned Owl ~ Colored Pencil|
|Great Blue Heron ~ Colored Pencil|
|Golden Eagle ~ Colored Pencil|
|Red-winged Blackbird ~ Colored Pencil|