A Fling. A Convocation. A Congress. A Cast.

Bird painting: Falling Bough by Walton Ford, watercolor and mixed media, 2002.
Falling Bough by Walton Ford, watercolor and mixed media, 2002.

So Many Types of Bird Painting

There is nothing I love more than geeking out on a painting theme and then going on a visual treasure hunt for works that feature “sleeping people” or “weird masks” or “galloping horses.” Geeky, right? My latest search has been an exploration of all that is bird painting. I was surprised at all the variations out there once I started searching. There are birds in flight, birds with people, birds fighting, and bird portraits. Birds in nests and in groups–a bevy or colony or brood or gaggle, all depending on the type of bird, which is where my title’s inspiration came from. (Google is a terrible and awesome thing…)

But it is funny, no matter the number of bird paintings I looked at, they all had something in common. There is a gracefulness (when done well!) and a lightness to depictions of birds. Maybe it is the wings, or that we know they can fly and, therefore, associate them with all kinds of airy and ethereal symbols. All I know is that with their colorful feathers and unique anatomy, this is a search that I enjoyed way more than I thought I would!

Scroll down for my impromptu gallery of feathered fowl below, and if you are interested in featuring birds in your latest painting, don’t put brush to canvas without first watching Johannes Vloothuis’ Essentials of Painting Birds LIVE! There are three live sessions of the workshop, but if you sign up you can watch them whenever you want, as many times as you want. Enjoy!

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Bird painting: Il Barbagianni The Owl by Valentine Cameron Prinsep, oil on canvas, 1863.
Il Barbagianni The Owl by Valentine Cameron Prinsep, oil on canvas, 1863.

 

Bird painting: Woman on White Peacock, 1918 Vogue Cover by George Plank.
Woman on White Peacock, 1918 Vogue Cover by George Plank.

 

A Roller, Two Peregrine Falcons and a Long-Eared Owl with her Young by Francis Barlow, oil on canvas.
A Roller, Two Peregrine Falcons and a Long-Eared Owl with her Young by Francis Barlow, oil on canvas.

 

Bird painting: Eagle Over 100,000 Acre Plain at Susaki, Fukagawa (Juman-tsubo) by Hiroshige, 1857, woodcut.
Eagle Over 100,000 Acre Plain at Susaki, Fukagawa (Juman-tsubo) by Hiroshige, 1857, woodcut.

 

Bird painting: Diva II by Erte.
Diva II by Erte.

 

Yellow Bird on a Bell by Craigie Aitchison, screenprint, 2003.
Yellow Bird on a Bell by Craigie Aitchison, screenprint, 2003.

 

Portrait of Robert Cheseman by Hans Holbein the Younger, 1533, oil on panel.
Portrait of Robert Cheseman by Hans Holbein the Younger, 1533, oil on panel.

 

The Goldfinch by Carel Fabritius, 1654, oil on panel.
The Goldfinch by Carel Fabritius, 1654, oil on panel.

 

Stony Beachy Redshanks by Ingebjorg Smith.
Stony Beachy Redshanks by Ingebjorg Smith.

 

Hawk Pouncing on Partridges by John James Audubon, c.1827.
Hawk Pouncing on Partridges by John James Audubon, c.1827.

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Courtney Jordan

About Courtney Jordan

  Courtney is the editor of Artist Daily. For her, art is one of life’s essentials and a career mainstay. She’s pursued academic studies of the Old Masters of Spain and Italy as well as museum curatorial experience, writing and reporting on arts and culture as a magazine staffer, and acquiring and editing architecture and cultural history books. She hopes to recommit herself to more studio time, too, working in mixed media.   

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