Untamed Land

Untamed Land
Untamed Land

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A Narina Trogon and Some Waxwings

Narina Trogon, 10x8"
This is my latest little painting, done in preparation for my upcoming trip to Uganda. I like to bring a few small paintings with me which I sell to fellow travellers, or trade for lodging at nice resorts. Narina Trogons were one of my favorite birds that I saw last Feb. in South Africa. I hope to get better photos in Uganda.
Whenever a painting is in the planning stages I know it's a good idea to work out tonal values ahead of time. Do I want the main focal point to stand out as a lighter subject set against a darker background or vice versa? Often I just cant make up my mind how it should look so I just wing it, and hope for the best. That was the case with this painting. Like with most paintings, it looks much better in life, than it does in the photo.

Just about the time I finished the trogon painting this morning I heard the sweet calls of Bohemian Waxwings out the back window. The day is heavily overcast today, so it's challenging to photograph darker birds set against a bright gray sky.
The photos just looked like dark silhouettes against the sky so I had to play with the brightness/contrast setting on my photo editing program to get any detail on the birds.
There were hundreds of these guys in the nieghborhood, but they were scattered too far apart to get good group shots. I dont know what kind of berries they were feeding on.
There was also a Robin out there calling but I could'nt spot it. That brings my list of birds so far this year up to 4 species seen, 3 species heard. That's winter in Alaska.
It started snowing shortly after these photos were taken.


tess stieben said...

I love watching the waxwings soar and dance in waves across the horizon, we have quite a few back in the neighbourhood at this point.

Colette Theriault said...

Stunning bird painting John!! The background is just as pretty as the Trogon.