30 in 30: Baby Bulbul on Orchids

Baby Bulbul on Orchids
Acrylic on Canvas
5″ X 7″

Aloha! Today I am back to painting birds. This time it’s a commission piece. This is a portrait of a bulbul that was rescued and rehabilitated after falling from its nest. The rescuer wanted a keepsake of her beloved bird. It’s very fun to take an existing photo and give it some changes to make the composition more pleasing. I added more orchids, because… orchids! Also, it is art, so I can make features of the bird that get lost in the original photo emerge more clearly. Black feathers around the face that were absorbing the light and losing some of the form. The head is now clearly seen because I can use grays, blues, browns, and blacks to make it all a little more visually clear, closer to how it would be in person. As long as I can wrap my mind around the form, I have gotten to the point where I can render some of the loss that a camera lens will create. Cameras usually push values to be more extreme than they are in real life. Shadows become impenetrable black where they might look blue, purple, gray, and brown in real life. This is the difficulty of working with photos, but if you know your subject matter well enough, you can sometimes correct the lost information.

This is day 7 for me of the 30 in 30 painting challenge. You can learn more and see the other pieces as they are revealed here:

30 in 30 Gallery