View Full Version : Birds Around The World

12-28-2011, 08:47 PM
I have just taken the first bite into this project. I am planning 40 different birds from around the world, and in the end I plan to mount them on some sort of abstract map of the world. Still in conceptualizing stage there. Each piece is 5" X 5". Last weekend I cut out all the squares and gessoed them. These are the first two. I haven't decided whether or not to print the name of the bird on each piece. I do have a map that I've done with the birds labeled on it as a complement to the completed work but not sure if I'll use it.

12-29-2011, 09:29 AM
Wow - that's quite an undertaking but you've got a nice beginning.

12-29-2011, 05:35 PM
i love the texture and softness

12-30-2011, 05:03 AM
Your bird paintings are so delicately done. I think you've started a wonderful project! Can't wait to see all your 40 birds mounted, that would be an awesome sight!

chammi kaiser
12-30-2011, 05:35 AM
Karen, what a super idea. I wish you all the luck and creativity for this project. I like your birds. As Wilfrid says, they are nice and delicate.

12-30-2011, 07:16 PM
Gayle: Yes, I'm hoping that I haven't bitten off too much!
Mz Sketch: Thank you. I got the texture with the underlying gesso layer. I was going for a linen look. I never thought of the birds as soft, but I think they are in these photos I took with my phone. I will try and get better photos with the "real" camera later.
wilfred: Thank you. At this point I can only imagine. I hope I get this project to come out half as well as I've imagined.
Chammi: Thank you. I will need some luck.....and tons of patience!

12-30-2011, 07:19 PM
I really LOVE the background effect of the right painting

12-30-2011, 10:44 PM
Thank you Chrissy! That is a layered background with about seven colors.

Here is Bird #3, A Crested Tit.

12-31-2011, 01:05 AM
#4 Dotterel

12-31-2011, 01:36 PM
#5 Eurasian Roller

12-31-2011, 04:21 PM
#6 Ferruginous Pygmy-owl

12-31-2011, 10:04 PM
#7 Northern Gannet

01-01-2012, 12:03 AM
Wow... Karen, you're on a roll! All consistently very nice bird paintings.

01-01-2012, 01:12 AM
Thanks Wilfred! I'm really enjoying this project :)

Here's #8: Eurasian Hobby

01-01-2012, 01:36 PM
#9 Harpy Eagle

01-01-2012, 08:13 PM
#10 Plush-crested Jay

01-02-2012, 11:58 AM
WOW Karen, this is an awesome series you have going here!!
Love them all, very well done!
Keep up the great work!:clap:

01-02-2012, 06:41 PM
Thanks Kathie :)

#11 Common Kingfisher

George Servais
01-02-2012, 07:05 PM
Really nice work. Very ambitious.

01-07-2012, 09:16 PM
Since the website update is not yet complete, this will seem out of order, but here is #15, Sulphur-billed Nuthatch.

01-29-2012, 06:27 PM
:wave: Hi, just wanted to update my thread. Back when they were doing maintenance on the site, I lost a couple of my posts with comments, so I will add back paintings #12, 13, 14 that are missing and tack on the latest ones, #15, a Long-tailed Duck and #16, an Ovenbird.

01-29-2012, 07:33 PM
Karen...these are so great!! I have been watching the ones around here, more than usual, and enjoying them.

01-29-2012, 07:43 PM
Thanks, Susan :)

01-30-2012, 08:51 AM
More of those lovely birds...these are all amazing! I really really love # 13... together with the little flowers, it's just so delightful!!

01-30-2012, 09:27 AM
Thanks, Soni! I think that the Magnolia Warbler is my favorite one so far. I was very pleased with how the flowers turned out. I almost like them more than the bird, lol

01-30-2012, 10:37 AM
What a beautiful series of birds!!
I love them all, great work and beautiful colors!!:clap:

01-30-2012, 01:11 PM
Oh wow, these are beautifully done. And what a challenge, I've really enjoyed looking at these. Well done.

01-30-2012, 10:25 PM
Thank you Kathie and Karen :) It has really become a challenge just to carve out time to paint these! Kathie, I need some of your ideas on marketing my work. You always seem to be busy on commissions! I would love to do this full time.

01-31-2012, 06:52 AM
Some really great work here! Glad to see that bird number one is the Puffin...the provincial bird of Newfoundland! I think your project idea is great as well. good luck with it and keep us posted.

01-31-2012, 12:55 PM
I love birds and your series is inspirational. Well done!

Auntie Vera
01-31-2012, 01:26 PM
I hate birds. "Rodents around the world" is more my thing. Can you start again?

01-31-2012, 03:31 PM
Thanks snowden. I couldn't do the series without a puffin. They are just too cute.
Thank you Virginia. I am glad to be an inspiration to someone :)

01-31-2012, 03:33 PM
Auntie, I'll let you do th rodent series. You would probably do a much beter job than I. Rodents are not my thing!

02-26-2012, 06:18 AM
What a great project! Your birds are SO beautiful:clap: :clap: :thumbsup:

02-27-2012, 02:27 PM
These are wonderful. And you are rolling along quite quickly. I love anything having to do with nature and think yours are tops.

02-27-2012, 03:23 PM
Thank you Tommy and Dennis!!! That is very nice of you to say :)

03-19-2012, 12:26 AM
This is #18 of the series, a Painted Bunting

03-19-2012, 03:15 AM
This one is also very nice!

03-19-2012, 09:50 AM
Nice projectand well done

03-24-2012, 12:53 AM
Here goes #19, a Red-cheeked Cordon Bleu.

03-24-2012, 11:22 AM
Lovely colors!:clap:

03-24-2012, 02:27 PM
Thanks, Tommy :)

03-24-2012, 03:36 PM
#20, Resplendent Quetzal

Ms Nan
03-24-2012, 03:56 PM
These are just great! A big project, but judging from what you have done so far, it will be fantastic.

03-24-2012, 04:00 PM
I like this one too!:clap: Interesting bg texture as well!

03-24-2012, 05:08 PM
Part of what I am trying to achieve here is the unique backgrounds. All are using the same technique, more or less, with a tad bit of detail but mostly I'm trying to keep them all consistent.

03-24-2012, 09:07 PM
Wow such a colorful and beautiful thread of birds

03-25-2012, 02:01 PM
#21, Red-flanked Bluetail. This little guy hails from Taiwan. Now that I think about it, I should have put where all these are from.

03-25-2012, 02:35 PM
:clap: :clap: :thumbsup:

03-25-2012, 03:25 PM
Love them all Karen!!
Excellent textures on the backgrounds and bright colored birds!!!
Great work!!
Where do you find so many adorable birds for reference??

03-25-2012, 05:05 PM
Love them all Karen!!
Excellent textures on the backgrounds and bright colored birds!!!
Great work!!
Where do you find so many adorable birds for reference??

There is no shortage of beautiful birds in this world! I could probably do this project for the rest of my life and never run out of birds to paint. That is really what gave me the idea to do this project in the first place :D

As far as references, I have lots of bird books, and there's this thing called "Google". ;)

When I was researching for this project last year, I basically started off with a map of the world and then found birds that appealed to me from almost each region. I searched for those birds in different places - books, online, and what I already know from field experience - and then did all my drawings. Now as I paint them I add the background how I think it will work best with the bird, taking into consideration its natural habitat, blah blah blah

rick janzen
03-26-2012, 12:07 PM
Your passion for birds really comes out in your paintings, well done.

03-26-2012, 10:52 PM
Thank you, Rick. It truly is a passion :)

03-31-2012, 02:52 PM
#22, Scarlet Tanager, one of my favorite spring migrants in Texas. :heart: :heart:

03-31-2012, 03:14 PM
what beautiful colors!! well done again!!

03-31-2012, 10:33 PM
Thanks Kathie :)

Here is #23, a Turtle Dove. And no, I'm not doing any partidge in a pear tree ;)

04-01-2012, 04:33 AM
Lovely birds, your last two, Karen!:clap: :clap: :thumbsup:

04-01-2012, 12:43 PM
Thank you, Tommy :)

Got another one completed. This is #24, a Ural Owl from Japan. He may look cute, but from what I understand, these guys are quite aggressive. :eek:

04-01-2012, 04:15 PM
Just as nice as the previous birds. I like the BG.:clap: :thumbsup:

04-01-2012, 04:58 PM
:clap: I like them all!

04-06-2012, 12:58 PM
An Australian favorite, the Eastern Rosella, No. 25!

04-07-2012, 01:05 AM
#26, Winchat. This little guy is widespread in Europe and winters in Africa.

04-07-2012, 05:13 AM
#26 IS ONE OF YOUR BEST!:clap: :clap: :clap:

04-07-2012, 05:28 AM
Wow these are wonderful, I love the rich colours and detail that you are achieving!

04-07-2012, 12:39 PM
#26 IS ONE OF YOUR BEST!:clap: :clap: :clap:

Thanks Tommy! So out of curiosity, what makes this one in the best category for you?

04-07-2012, 12:41 PM
Wow these are wonderful, I love the rich colours and detail that you are achieving!

Thanks Deborah! I am trying to make the birds more detailed than any of the backgrounds so that the birds are the main focus. I just want to suggest the backgrounds and put as little detail in them as possible. Nature picked the colors :D

04-07-2012, 02:34 PM
@Karen - I like colorful birds, but this one harmonizes very well with the BG.
Keep up the good work!:thumbsup:

04-07-2012, 09:45 PM
Thanks for the feedback, Tommy :)

#27, White-browed Coucal from Africa.

04-15-2012, 11:16 AM
#28, Red-headed Barbet. This one's from Costa Rica and Panama.

04-15-2012, 02:50 PM
Great project! love all of them!

04-15-2012, 03:38 PM
Nice paintings the last two! I very much enjoy your birds, Karen!:clap: :clap: :clap:

04-15-2012, 08:12 PM
Thanks bluemoonstar and Tommy :)

04-15-2012, 10:05 PM
Gorgeous Karen!!
what size are these again??
what a series!! you may just catch up to my Herd!!
Working on cow #42 now.

04-16-2012, 04:47 AM
It has been a delight to watch this series grow Karen, your birds are beautiful and I look forward to seeing them all put together in your final piece of the series.

04-16-2012, 12:12 PM
I just looked through all of you birds. What a great Idea. Nice Job.

04-16-2012, 10:56 PM
@Kathie - These are all 5" X 5". I cut them out on my table saw from a large piece of hardboard, gessoed each and painted. I will go back and seal each one front and back when they're finished. Originally I had planned 40, but once I got started there were several more I wanted to add. I plan to stop at 50. Once this project is done, I want to do another on just Texas birds :)

@Doug - Thank you so much. I am still conceptualizing the mounts, which will each hold a few pieces, somewhat abstract "map" of the world. I have cleared a space on one of my walls to "play" with the layout, lol

@Rosanne - Thank you for looking, and I'm glad you enjoyed my birds :)

04-24-2012, 02:09 PM
And from Eastern Asia, it's #29, a Baikal Teal. At some point I will actually take some decent photos of all these. There are a few I have gone back and tweaked a bit. All the photos so far have been taken with my phone so I can upload easier to my FB site.

04-26-2012, 03:19 PM
#30 from Europe, Bullfinch

04-29-2012, 01:41 AM
#31, Yellow-fronted Woodpecker from Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay. I actually uploaded the wrong pic. This one was taken before I was finished.

07-01-2012, 01:20 PM
It's been a while since my last post. Sorry for that. I had to put the Birds project on hold for a while due to other demands on my time. Here is #32 in the series, a Blue Dacnis aka Turquoise Honeycreeper from South America.

07-01-2012, 04:36 PM
Karen....nothing to say but wow....I absolutely love these....so great!!! I have been turning into a bird person lately-not painting but in real life-and these just move me! Have gotten some great shots of my mockingbird family, over the spring and early summer....the last of the fledglings are out of the nest....unless mom and dad decide to go for four nests this year....lol. You are inspiring!!

07-02-2012, 08:12 AM
These are all amazing. I love the texture in your backgrounds, it gives them all a "series" appearance.

07-04-2012, 01:10 PM
Susan - Thanks :) So glad you are inspired! Oh, you should try and paint from one of your fledgling pics!

Artybo - Thank you :) I have really been trying to keep all the backgrounds very consistent throughout this series :)

And here goes #33, a Rockhopper Penguin common to the Falkland Islands. Isn't he cute :heart:

chammi kaiser
07-04-2012, 01:18 PM
Karen, they are all delightful. Hats off to you for sticking so religiously to your project. I think you are doing a splendid job.

07-04-2012, 01:23 PM
These are really cool, Karen! You've sure been busy with all these bird paintings. The Rockhopper Penguin is very cute :)

07-04-2012, 02:29 PM
Love them:clap: , this last little penquin reminds me of the Happy feet movie!
Great work, love them ALL!!:heart:

07-08-2012, 02:11 AM
Chammi, I'm too far into it to quit now! lol
Propwash, thanks :)
Kathie, I thought about that movie, too. I loved it!

Bet most people have never heard of this little guy. He's #34 in the series, an Ocellated Antbird. They are found from Honduras down through Panama and to NW Equador.

07-08-2012, 07:37 AM
Lovely work!

07-08-2012, 03:48 PM
Wonderful!! Great work!

08-04-2012, 08:07 PM
#35, Pileated Woodpecker (North America)

08-05-2012, 08:05 PM
I can't say enough how much I like these...but I would imagine you are to the point of wanting to paint anything else but birds? Almost done, if you stick to the 40?

08-11-2012, 03:26 PM
To be honest, I could probably paint nothing but birds and still be happy doing it. I am starting to think I may stop at 40 for this series as originally planned, but then I just finished the extra ten drawings so I can do 50. I am currently out of board to paint on, so I need to buy, cut up and prepare more. Since I will have plenty of material in one board to make up to 30 more, I will probably just go ahead and do 50. I want to do another series on just Texas birds, too, but we'll see. I may finish up my KaleidoSoap series first.

09-16-2012, 11:31 AM
I just finished #36, a Blue-eyed Shag from Antarctica.

09-16-2012, 11:45 PM
#37, Black-browed Albatross, also from Antarctica

09-30-2012, 11:44 AM
#38. Mugimaki Flycatcher (Eastern Asia)

09-30-2012, 12:31 PM
These last three are beautiful!!
I just love this series!!:clap:

12-27-2013, 05:59 PM
I've been working on the project a bit more lately, and now I have done 47 of the 50 so far. Here are the latest ones!

12-27-2013, 06:00 PM

12-28-2013, 11:35 AM
I missed this thread before. I enjoyed every painting! I'd love to look at them all together.

12-28-2013, 01:33 PM
As just a recent visitor to the acrylics forum I was very taken with this project. Wonderful idea and brilliantly consistent painting. There is a great commonality to the painting backgrounds that ties them all together. How are you getting those lines in the background? Is that just light brushing over rough gesso or what?

Ps.. What about a kiwi? ;)

12-28-2013, 03:52 PM
very nice project from this wonderful source of colors....

12-28-2013, 05:34 PM
Linee: I will soon post another thread with them all together. I've got all 48 of them laid out on my kitchen table right now. I want to finish the last two this weekend and then decide how to photograph them all at once.

faminz: It was my goal throughout this project to keep them all cohesive, especially the backgrounds. I gessoed them in one direction with a cheap 1 1/2 brush, let it dry, then brushed the second coat of gesso in the opposite direction to get the linen effect. It is now my favorite way to paint in acrylics now.

life: Thank you.

I am not sure I am quite finished with this project, even at 50, but I think it's a good round number. There are so many other birds I'd like to paint. Kiwi would certainly be a good one. Love those! Thanks for all your comments!

12-28-2013, 09:49 PM
#48, Golden-crowned Kinglet

12-29-2013, 12:54 AM
#49, Dickcissel

12-29-2013, 10:46 PM
It has taken me exactly two years to complete all 50 Birds Around The World. Here is #50, a White-throated Toucan.

12-30-2013, 12:30 AM
Here are all of them together (with the exception of #6, which sold a few months ago), all laid out on my kitchen table.

Charlie's Mum
12-30-2013, 09:30 AM
Lovely set of 'tiles' - have you thought about having them transferred to real tiles? :)

12-30-2013, 09:52 AM
Hmmm, I'd already commented but my post vanished. Anyway, what a wonderful project! They make a huge impact all together too. I really admire your perseverance.

I'm sure you've answered this question, but are you going to display them in your home or sell them or.....??

12-30-2013, 03:38 PM
The original plan, and the current thoughts are to design an abstract map of the world to mount then upon. I also have done some drawings for painting a mural as a backdrop for them. I haven't come to a final decision on it yet. I need the space cleared on a wall, as well

12-30-2013, 03:41 PM
I guess the ultimate goal would be to sell it as a whole installation. I'd like to do a show, I just need someone willing to let me take over their wall somewhere.

12-30-2013, 06:51 PM
Amazing project. Love all your paintings. I look forward to seeing the final installation.

12-30-2013, 08:21 PM
Wow...50!! Have so enjoyed watching all of these!!

12-30-2013, 09:13 PM
These are really delightful! What an impressive undertaking! I love all of them, especially the galah.

12-31-2013, 12:07 AM
Thanks! I did particularly like the way the cockatoo came out, as well :)

03-31-2014, 04:53 PM
Hummerseeker, your works just capture it all. I am so impressed with your tenacity and perspective.

I wondered, as you have such a great knowledge of the bird world of art, if you might be able to give me some assistance.

See my post please: http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1347178

I am trying to capture the flame-like charcteristics of the vivid colors of this toucan's beak. As I said in my intro, the beak is approximately 4.5 inches from top to bottom, at its widest point, in my picture. My largest Filbert brush is 1/2" wide. What would you do to capture the flame-like effect that appears as the colors fade in each area on the beak?

Any assistance is most appreciated

chammi kaiser
04-01-2014, 06:05 AM
I have so enjoyed this series. Hats off to you for seeing it through. A wonderful collection.

09-20-2014, 05:58 PM
Beautiful bird paintings! I love painting birds, there are so many and all so different!

09-20-2014, 09:58 PM
Thank you Chrissy! That is a layered background with about seven colors.

Here is Bird #3, A Crested Tit.

I'm a birder and have to say that you really captured a perching birds stance. Really well!

Alertness and tension without looking stiff plus lovely colors.

The picture of the bird I'm referencing didn't copy but it's on the first page. Worth seeing.

09-21-2014, 10:25 AM
What a great accomplishment! They are just wonderful. Congratulations!!!


09-21-2014, 05:51 PM
I like #8 the best so far to me, great project and appreciate your work.