Painting Chickens

Discussion in 'Hobbies' started by aubreynoramarie, May 27, 2012.

  1. aubreynoramarie

    aubreynoramarie designated lawn flamingo

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    So after we shut off our cable a few weeks ago I found myself in major need of a real hobby. For about a year Ive thought it would be fun to have portraits of all of my girls, however never picked up a paintbrush in my life and didnt think Id be able to have something I could be proud of. Not to say that my first three didnt turn out looking terribly 8-year-oldish...because they did. Actually after my third I was so frustrated and dissapointed in the money i had wasted, but I had one canvas left and thought that maybe...JUST MAYBE if i applied myself enough it would come out alright. Well I think it did! granted they arent Monets or anything, but heck at least I feel alright hanging them in my bedroom and not shuttering at distorted dememnted chicken faces (oh yes! the first two were PSYCHO looking!)

    Here is what I have of my project so far, five birds and 22 more to go. I will be approaching this project by painting my birds in the order that I got them. Yes...all 27 of them, in order. Titled by name.....
    [​IMG]
    DARLA

    [​IMG]
    LUCY

    [​IMG]
    CHUCK

    [​IMG]
    MIDGE

    [​IMG]
    PRISCILLA



    Now I think I have given myself a clearly defined style. My paintings are pretty cartoony, but still look very true to the bird itself. Im pleased with the style. What I could use is some help and advice, though...tips for doing the feathers, its so hard for me and I am terrified to venture out into the bodies! (however i think with this project i will just stick to busts and heads and if i decide to continue this painting thing afterwards then maybe I will try new things). I know there are some great painters on this forum and I would really like tips from people who have a good eye for birds. Thus far these are all gouche on canvas but i think i will be switching to acrylic as thats what ive been usuing for white paint and I like the way it feels.

    thanks in advance for any help and i hope you all stick with me as i try to complete this project!
     
  2. americanvalkyrie

    americanvalkyrie Songster

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    You know, I had a whole response typed out for you, and BYC's formatting issues wouldn't let me post, and I lost all of it. I'll try to remember what I said.

    I never knew you were a new artist. Now I'm super impressed. I love acrylics, and I think you'll totally like them. They mix so well, the colors are true without adding varnish, and they're so water soluble until they dry. As far as feathers, I love the drybrush technique you did at the top of Chuck's head. You can do a drybrush with a fine-point spotter brush, using a bit of water to thin the paint just enough to get the effect you want. Also, since feathers are often iridescent, using a cangiante color switch, like you've pretty much already done on Lucy, would bring out a lot of dimension and still keep true to your style.

    They look great! I haven't even tried to paint my chickens yet.
     
  3. aubreynoramarie

    aubreynoramarie designated lawn flamingo

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    yay missy youre the painting expert! You did do a great job on the painting for the coop, those birds looked amazing! I know youre super duper busy but if you ever find yourself with a few spare hours id love to see what you could throw together.

    so by drybrush technique you mean like no mixing of colors? like waiting for one layer to dry before adding another? I liked that too it was fun. I wasnt too happy with midge's feathers though, i need to practice laced feathers...which sucks because my next bird is a barnevelder...DOUBLE LACING! AHHH!
     
  4. rachelam101909

    rachelam101909 Hatching

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    Your paintings are fantastic!! Such a great idea :) I may try painting my babies now :)
     
  5. aubreynoramarie

    aubreynoramarie designated lawn flamingo

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    you totally should, though! Its a cute little thing to hang in your house :)
     
  6. theoldchick

    theoldchick The Chicken Whisperer

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    [​IMG] You got talent! Keep that paintbrush in your hand!
     
  7. aubreynoramarie

    aubreynoramarie designated lawn flamingo

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    Oh shoot thanks!
     
  8. americanvalkyrie

    americanvalkyrie Songster

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    Drybrush is when you get a little paint on your brush, then brush it against a paper towel or something to remove most of the paint, then flick the brush lightly against your canvas to pick up the texture beneath. You can see it on Chuck's portrait, where it picked up the texture of the canvas. It gave an automatic frizzled look, effortlessly. Drybrush is one of my favorite techniques.

    Cangiante is when you're moving from the light to the dark of one color, but you portray it as two separate colors. Chicken feathers actually do this naturally... they'll shine green, then on the really highlighted areas they might reflect white from the sun... on a feather that's black. You can do this on the high and low points of the feathers to show the iridescence.

    With lacing, it will look more realistic if you focus more on the highlights of the lacing, than if you paint all of the lacing. Maybe use a burnt sienna for a little bit of Mama's lacing... the lowlights... then a gold for the highlights where the sun hits. Also, just focusing on the highlights takes a lot of the tedium out of painting every... single... line.
     
  9. aubreynoramarie

    aubreynoramarie designated lawn flamingo

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    Thanks for the advice Missy! id love to know more techniques and names whenever you feel like sharing. LOVE having a true artist here!

    I wont be able to start another painting until next week though, shoot- going on vacation!
     

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