View Full Version : "Napoleon" - collared sunbird

02-22-2012, 02:42 PM
After years of working in scratchboard, which most of you are familiar with, I started an oil painting class in January. The first painting was ok, but not worth sharing here :) However I am really quite pleased with how #2 came out. This one is on clayboard and sized 18"x24". The title is "Napoleon"

This past summer I had the pleasure to spend most of a month in South Africa. This is from one of my images taken over there of a male collared sunbird. Sunbirds are South Africa's version of our hummingbirds (but don't hover) - feed mostly on nectar from flowers and most are only 2" to 4" in size. Though only about 3" tall, the collared sunbird males are very territorial of their patch of flowers and will chase other birds off, even ones that are much larger (hence the title).

All C&C welcome and appreciated.


Detailed look at the head

02-22-2012, 03:36 PM
Wow...that is quite spectacular!

02-22-2012, 03:45 PM
Wow Cathy, that is spectacular, I can definitely see your scratchboard experience coming through in this with the attention to detail - just gorgeous:)

02-22-2012, 04:05 PM
Oh my! Beautiful!

02-22-2012, 04:33 PM
Beautiful great detail

02-22-2012, 04:37 PM
I decided to take some artistic liscence and change the closer foot as the two toes together looked 'off' to me.

Here is the new foot with slightly spread toes :) much larger than life...lol

Greg Long
02-22-2012, 06:20 PM
Excellent Cathy! :clap: you captured the iridescence perfectly.

02-22-2012, 06:58 PM
Wow, beautiful work, Cathy! Really like your choice of background colors in this. The reflective light on his stomach is lovely, as is the irridescense you managed to capture. :)

02-22-2012, 07:01 PM
That's gorgeous. Amazing detail.

02-22-2012, 07:13 PM
:clap: :clap: :clap: Amazing!

02-22-2012, 07:18 PM
Breathtaking work Cathy. I love your choice of colors and the composition. I hope to see more oil paintings from you.:)

02-22-2012, 10:55 PM
stunning work! And only your second? WOW

02-22-2012, 11:14 PM
Beautifully rendered!

02-23-2012, 01:14 AM
You have every reason to be very proud of this. Years of detail work have served you well. Absolutely beautiful!!!!

02-23-2012, 10:22 AM
It's stunning - beautifully done!


02-23-2012, 10:57 AM
It can be so easy to pick apart someone elses work (come to think of it, it is easy to be critical of my own too!), and the one thing I noticed was the one foot. It looked confusing to me - but you have changed that now and it looks great.
Really terrific stuff - did you achieve the iridescent look by glazing (from what I understand, painting transparent color over white)? The whole thing looks amazing!

Orchid Lady
02-23-2012, 11:24 AM
You've really captured that trademark iridescence well! The painting just glows!

Jennifer Miller
02-23-2012, 01:10 PM
Gorgeous! My favorite part-- and I know this is weird, but I love the subtle touch of warm color in the background.

02-23-2012, 01:41 PM
Fantastic job on this Kathy!

02-23-2012, 02:05 PM
Its amazing


02-23-2012, 02:41 PM
Thank you all for your lovely comments. I really apprecaite reading each one! I am laying out my next painting today :) Hopefully it will turn out as good as this one did, though it is a bit more complex.

02-23-2012, 02:43 PM
Bigfoot I did do a little bit of glazing, but mostly I painted the colors in many layers :) I was not patient enough to let it dry for glazing much.

Kathrin G.
02-23-2012, 04:32 PM
Oh wow !!!!!!!!!!!! This is beyond words :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

02-24-2012, 08:25 AM
Thanks Kathrin!

02-24-2012, 09:05 AM
Good job on capturing the iridescence of the neck feathers.

02-24-2012, 11:40 AM
Incredibe! I'm speachless:eek: ! Kathy, your abilities in so many mediums is very inspiring.
I also am excited to see a thread posted by you, because i know the work will be outstanding, this is no exception!
I can only dream of achieving some level of your skill one day!
Your attention to detail is phenominal, especially working in a new medium!
Just gorgeous and cannot wait to see more of your works in oil.:clap: :clap: :clap:

02-24-2012, 09:12 PM
This is really beautiful Cathy! :clap::clap: :clap: the way you have just picked up a brush and painted something so stunning in oils is truly amazing!... I especially love the way the bird just pops against the muted colours in the background, such a lovely subject! ... I'm about to start painting with water soluble oils myself, it's the first time I have picked up my brushes for nearly 10 years .... I haven't worked with my pastels for sometime as after having pneumonia a couple of years ago now have asthma, so it's painting or nothing and I just can't go for long without some form of artwork :) .... I just find it so difficult working with a different medium, although I must say with this piece you have definitely made it look easy! :thumbsup:

02-25-2012, 11:06 AM
Isn't that just gorgeous!

Dave Hawk
02-25-2012, 11:41 AM
WOW! Cathy this is nothing less the sheer beauty. I love it.