Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Stellar Jay on Cherries

I love the contrast between the glowing orange gold of the cherry leaves and the bold cobalt of the jay. This flowering cherry tree lived outside the kitchen window of my Mom and Dad's home in Pine Grove.  I took several reference photos in different seasons, but never could decide how to use these gorgeous fall leaves. Then I happened across the Northlight book "Painting the Allure of Nature" by Susan D. Bourdet.  I was so inspired by her skill and the techniques that she used to depict birds in her gorgeous nature paintings, that I had to try to add a bird to my cherry leaves.  
WOW!  It was way harder than I thought it would be.
This beautiful jay actually lives in Yosemite and was the most annoying bird!  He would visit our camp every morning at daybreak and screech until we handed over the breakfast scraps.  He obviously did not care that it was against all the rules to feed the wildlife.
It took me hours to get this photo of our annoyingly persistent bird
(Perhaps I am just a better painter than photographer ;)

Now I am finishing a tiny painting of a bush tit with Virginia creeper leaves.

Painting from life brings life to paintings.

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