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Old 03-26-2019, 06:55 AM
hibiscus17 hibiscus17 is offline
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Hails from New Zealand
Use to denote nudity/mature subject matter Birds & other paintings

Some more bird cards. This one is for a work colleague of my wife to say thanks for helping out recently. Starting with NZ birds, many of the endemic species are now extinct, such as this Huia, a species of wattle bird. Prized for it tail feathers and skins which were designated only for high ranking people.
This rendition is a female who was slightly larger than the male and distinguished by her downcurved beak, as opposed to the male whose beak resembled a raven, short and used for stabbing.

Vast deforestation and overhunting saw these beautiful creatures disappear by early 20th century although there were reported sightings right up until the 1970s.

Painting is on pearlised card using acrylics. Based on an online image (modified the foliage). Size of paint area is 110mm x 68mm (8.325" x 2.25").

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Old 03-26-2019, 09:40 AM
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Re: Bird paintings

Lawrence, This is lovely and done in acrylics. You do know how to work with them. In fact, all your paintings are great. You have a fan here.
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Old 03-26-2019, 12:14 PM
floblue floblue is offline
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Re: Bird paintings

Beautiful bird painting. It is so thoughtful of you to paint something that is extinct it reminds responsibilities extend a little further out than themselves. When you paint on the card stock with acrylic are you sizing it at all or using a clear gesso?
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Old 03-26-2019, 02:00 PM
hibiscus17 hibiscus17 is offline
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Re: Bird paintings

Thanks Lil and Barb. No direct preparation on card stock surface; bird imagery is done directly on the surface. I prefer pearlised (or metallic) card because the minute beads give better cohesion and adherence than plain unadorned which diffuses (or bleeds) whenever the acrylic is applied direct. If needed, I can apply a basecoat as I do on my foils, either a lighter tone or, my favourite, a black-blue. Why black-blue? It was an instinctive choice borne out of the medium I was using at the time (foil) which enabled the application of block/foundation colours, so I have stuck with it ever since.

I have heard of gesso but thought it was a softer form of modelling clay/filla in my ignorance. And thus used it improperly as such. But I've since learned (from WC forum) its proper use. Lol.

As for sizing, one learns pretty quick when painting birds to use a grid system to help with correct proportioning. Because I use photo references a lot, I take the image size and then ratio it to the intended painting surface, and then divide both x and y axes equally. This means obtaining a photo reference close enough to the image size. It does become a bit technical this way (which makes me yawn a lot) but it helps immensely to simplify the task at hand. And helps to break it down into manageable "bitz", so to speak.

I use white coloured pencil when painting on darker coloured card or a 3B pencil (allows for faint lines that can be erased or painted over) on plain white or lighter tones whenever using this grid system.

Part of enjoyment of the painting process with these wonderful creatures is the research. And educating oneself in appreciating just how lucky I truly am. As for responsibility, that's for each individual to face up to; for me, it's a duty to remind myself of what has been lost, and how delicate this all is. And hopefully share that perspective through paint. I am learning so much about the fauna of my homeland that I often took for granted growing up. Or simply never knew. Apologies for the rant.
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Last edited by hibiscus17 : 03-26-2019 at 02:05 PM.
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Old 03-26-2019, 03:02 PM
hibiscus17 hibiscus17 is offline
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Re: Bird paintings

I should add (perhaps unnecessarily) that I do outline the bird in pencil (or pen sometimes if I can't find my pencil) while using the grid system. Cheers.
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Old 03-26-2019, 03:58 PM
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Re: Bird paintings

So beautiful. Such a shame that it went extinct.
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Old 03-26-2019, 06:10 PM
hibiscus17 hibiscus17 is offline
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Re: Bird paintings

Thank you Virginia.
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Old 03-26-2019, 11:36 PM
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Re: Bird paintings

Love your painting, Lawrence, and thanks for including its history status.
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Old 03-26-2019, 11:50 PM
hibiscus17 hibiscus17 is offline
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Re: Bird paintings

Thanks Kay.
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Old 03-27-2019, 05:54 AM
floblue floblue is offline
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Re: Bird paintings

Thanks Lawrence for the technical details and also why you paint what you paint. I found iit fascinating and so interesting. What a great way to increase our knowledge of the natural world around us. Might give your technique a try just for fun.
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Old 03-28-2019, 12:06 AM
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Re: Bird paintings

Beautiful painting and I really enjoyed the background to it.
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Old 03-28-2019, 05:32 AM
hibiscus17 hibiscus17 is offline
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Re: Bird paintings

Thanks Christel.
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Old 05-13-2019, 11:35 AM
hibiscus17 hibiscus17 is offline
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Re: Bird paintings

Resuming the NZ bird paintings I started last month. First one is known locally (at least that's what I always called it) as the Tomtit, a member of the Australian robin family endemic to NZ. This little cutie is from the South Island. The North Island version has a blue/bluish-grey aspect. The name Tomtit is an abbreviation of the original Tom Titmouse, oldspeak used to denote anything tiny or minute like Tom Thumb!



As you can probably tell I love my birthland. And I love its native wildlife.


This is known as the Kokako, one of five native NZ wattlebirds. The blue wattle indicates its North Island origins. There is also a South Island version which has an orange wattle. But the latter is believed to be now extinct having not been seen for a very long time. Both Kokako species were once widespread throughout both islands but introduced species and deforestation on a large scale have virtually ensured their endangered status and confined them to the wild lands of central and lower North Island. It's more famous cousin, the highly prized and revered Huia (first post) is already extinct. And the Tieke (the Saddleback, which I'll showcase tomorrow) is on the endangered list.

Both cards (yes, I am still staying with the pearlised cards I used for the Australian Backyard Birds so these do qualify as miniature acrylics!) are still WIPs, the Kokako especially needs a perch and a background to stand out from.

Kokako - (Caw-cah-cor)
Tieke - (Tee-eh-keh)
Huia - (Hoo-ee-ah)

Apologies in advance to any native Maori speakers out there (my heritage is Samoan). The stress is in bold and I've used a simple form of phonetic pronounciation.
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Last edited by hibiscus17 : 05-13-2019 at 11:37 AM.
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Old 05-13-2019, 01:10 PM
hibiscus17 hibiscus17 is offline
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Re: Bird paintings

Correction on the Kokako pronounciation: the stress falls on the first syllable, the "Caw".
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Old 05-13-2019, 11:46 PM
hibiscus17 hibiscus17 is offline
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Re: Bird paintings

The Tieke or Saddleback.



Wanted to try the leafy background.
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