Friday, December 31, 2010

Cooper's Hawk Study in pencil and acrylic

In keeping with my recent postings about the birds that I have been observing lately, I thought it might be appropriate to post a recent study drawing that I did featuring a Cooper's hawk. These poses were taken from the photos I took of the bird that has been visiting my yard and making a meal of some of the smaller birds at my feeders. While this might seem a bit gruesome it has really given me a great opportunity to see this hawk much closer than I normally would be able to and I have observed some hunting behavior that is very interesting. I have observed both this bird and a sharp shinned hawk do more than just swoop in for the kill. I have seen them both actively pursue the smaller birds that are trying to hide in the shrubs by diving in after them or even shaking branches and vines with their talons to scare the little birds out. It's quite the drama to watch. I'm not sure who I'm hoping will come out the winner...the little, terrified birds or the determined hawk. Hey, they both gotta eat!!

This piece was done in pencil with light acrylic washes. I decided to do just a study sketch for now because I wanted to capture the different attitudes and poses that I've seen this bird in and to focus on the intense look they have with their glaring reddish colored eyes. Without meaning to make this bird out to be the bad guy, that red eye makes them look quite ferocious. The heavy eyebrow above that eye makes them look like they are one mean bird! I think they are just awesome!! The study serves to remind me of their powerful beauty.

I just realized that this is my last painting for 2010. In a few hours it will be a brand new year with new goals and new challenges. Is anyone making new years resolutions? I'm going to go out on a limb here and publicly posting one of mine. Maybe it will give me more incentive to reach it.

In 2011 my main goal is to paint 20 - 25 new paintings with birds or wildlife as the main subject. That would be roughly two paintings a month depending on the size. Reaching this goal will then put me in a better position to reach a few other being to participate in a large wildlife art show/sale and the other to start searching for gallery representation. Both of these goals require a good body of work to show and sell.

Well, now you know what I'll be doing for the next 12 months. What about you?