Painting Interesting Chicken Breeds

malaysian serama spangled male

The Malaysian Serama spangled male

Hi there, how are you?

“#Chick, chick, chick, chick chicken, lay a little egg for me”
I’ve been singing this to myself all week as I was looking through the chicken book, so many different types to choose from.

These are a few of my favourites, I also love some of the black chickens but painting black watercolour is not easy and they all turned out looking pretty miserable.

The spangled Malaysian Serama (above) is a very beautiful bird. The few I looked up on the internet weren’t as colourful so I imagine the blues are iridescence on the feathers.

Disclaimer: some of these chickens have been beautified in photoshop hehehe. White chickens on a white background is like polar bears in the snow, invisible so I took the white of the paper off and inserted a few puffs of grey to help them show up better.

Had I been a better artist I would have painted the paper but this paper doesn’t take wet washes well and I didn’t want to spoil the pictures.
Maybe I’ll do some on watercolour paper now I’ve seen the effect and quite like how it looks.

The white Wyandotte hen on the left and the Silkie on the right. the Silkie has very fluffy feathers and little fluffy boots

The white Wyandotte hen on the left is just a quick pencil sketch, I liked how it turned out and left it at that.

I really like the way the purple colour turned out on the Silkie (right), we saw chickens like these at the animal farm and they look just like balls of fluff on legs. They also come in black but painting black beaks, combs, feet and fluff needs a lot more skill than I currently have.

white Wyandotte and Silkie chicken paintings

A white Wyandotte and a Silkie chicken

The Seabright has laced patterning on its feathers, which apparently means they’re edged with another colour. I’m using a brush pen to edge the feathers. With its tiny comb and puffed out chest it looks a bit like a pigeon.

Seabright hen drawing

Seabright hen, using a brush pen for the feather pattern

The Appenzeller Spitzhauben chicken has a horned comb and a feathered crest he’s quite a fancy looking bird, and he knows it.

Appenzeller Spitzhauben Male

Appenzeller Spitzhauben Male

The book has to go back to the library soon but it was a lot of fun drawing and painting chickens.

Thanks for taking the time to stop by. Till next time, have fun x

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Chicken – Some Interesting Head Wear

single comb sussex

A Sussex chicken with a single comb

Hi there, how are you?
Recently I borrowed a book from the library about chicken keeping. The other half was a little worried when he saw it, nudged the daughter and said “we’re not getting chickens are we, where will we put them!” she reassured him that there would be no chickens in our tiny garden, mum just wants to draw from the pictures hehehe.

rose comb bantam

A Bantam chicken with a rose comb

It’s true, this book has loads of good chicken pictures with chickens of all different breeds plus ducks and geese too! I may have to renew it. It’s quite interesting and informative.

horned comb la fletch

A La Fletch with a horned comb

It would be easy to type chicken into google, lots of images would turn up in the results but I don’t always want to be stuck in front of screens and devices, books are a lot easier on the eyes.

pea comb sumatra

A Sumatra chicken with a pea comb

I had planned on drawing whole chickens but there are several pages concerning their combs, feet feathers, and bird anatomy. There are so many breeds and differences.

buttercup comb sicillian

A sicillian chicken with a buttercup comb

I think this book will keep me busy for a while.
Chickens are fascinating birds.

Thanks for taking the time to stop by. Till next time, have fun x

Learning To Draw Chickens

watercolour chicken sketches-2

Watercolour chicken sketches

Hi there, how are you?

I don’t have any lovely pictures this week; I have mostly been learning to draw chickens. I was scooting around the interwebs and found an odd page from a book by Glenn Vilppu. This guy is a drawing master so I followed the exercise on the page. He starts with loose shapes; a circle etc and turns them into amazing drawings.

My drawings are not quite so amazing but I have to start somewhere and then just practice a lot, then a lot more, right? First I copied the exercises from the page.

I love how he managed to get so much expression into a few shapes.

chicken drawing exercises

Chicken drawing exercises, this is pretty much the page I found.

Next I started drawing from all the photos I’d taken of chickens; they are a bit rough and drawn with a pencil. I would like to eventually be able to draw in the shading and tones but don’t have those skills yet (more practice needed). I scanned the pencilled page into the computer but it doesn’t show up too well so I drew over it with a Pitt brush pen and scanned it again so you can see the shapes.

first chicken pencil sketches

First chicken pencil sketches. Drawn in pencil and inked over for a better view.

More sketchy chickens this time in a different sketch book, sorry for the terrible image, I didn’t ink over these drawings because the paper is pretty absorbent, I’m going to use this book for dry media, and rough sketching. (Two sketch books at one time seriously! Hehehe )

chicken pencil sketches

More chicken pencil sketches.

The image at the top of the post looks a bit chicken-ier and so far is the only one with any colour, again drawn from my photos. I am trying hard not to draw over the top with my brush pen.

I have drawn chickens before both from life and photos but with all the feathers and fluff it’s hard to know which part I’m drawing. Finally after having seen this one page from Vilppu’s book I’m starting to understand what I’m drawing.

I tried to buy this book but sadly it’s out of print, Amazon have a used copy, (Vilppu’s Animal Drawing Manual) for the astronomical price of £1,064.12 Eeep! I’ll have to keep my eyes open for a reprint

Thanks for taking the time to stop by today. Till next time, have fun x

 

The Aviaries Are Open Again

Hi there, how are you?

Normally at the zoo some (not all) of the aviaries are open to the public but during winter and early spring this year all of the aviaries were closed. Avian flu hit the zoo and we learned quite a few penguins had died, the zoo wanted to keep all of its birds safe.

Eastern Crested Guineafowl Sketch

Eastern Crested Guineafowl

Sad for us but necessary, all of the birds had their enclosures reduced and netted to keep people and wild birds away.

Now the weather has improved and all chances of flu are gone we can go in and see the lovely birdies again.

The Eastern Crested Guineafowl spend their time on the ground rooting in the ground for food. I haven’t seen them fly so I assume they don’t.

They tend to wander around in groups and after watching them for a while we decided they looked like a group of Elvis impersonators with their funny little hair styles hehehe.

Eastern Crested Guineafowl

This little guy was checking out the ducks in the neighbouring aviary. The grass is always greener on the other side.

Weaver Birds

Weaver birds building their nests.

There are also several pairs of weaver birds. The males make intricate upside down nests on long willowy tree branches out of grasses and leaves, if the female likes his nest they pair up, if not the male pulls it to pieces and starts again, more than once if needs be! Those ladies are very picky.

adventure playground chicken sketch

Adventure playground chicken sketch

Also this week we drew chickens at the local adventure playground. They were drawn in pencil and coloured at home, all except the rooster on the left, he was running around keeping all the ladies in check so try as I might I just couldn’t work him out, I snapped a photo on my ipod and worked him out at home.

There maybe a few more bird sketches in the future as we work our way around the zoo.

Thanks for taking the time to stop by today. Till next time, have fun x

A Visit To The Farm Park

Chicken-sketches-&-Turkey

These sketches were drawn in pencil then tidied up at home.

Hi there, how are you?

This week we went to a local farm park. I suppose it’s a kind of petting zoo for kids but there wasn’t any actual picking up of the animals (probably a good thing). Although they do sell food to feed the animals.

We arrived just in time to feed the lambs. One of the farmers came out with a large crate filled with bottles of milk and we were all allowed to hold the bottles out to the lambs to drink whilst he told us a little about them.

Dotted around the park were various coops containing different breeds of chickens, turkeys, pheasants etc. I have to admit I do love a chicken, we started to draw some of the birds, then wouldn’t you know it the heavens opened and the rain started. We’re not afraid of a bit of water but it’s hard to draw on wet paper so off for a cup of tea and home we went.

Most of the sketches had been drawn with pencil and looked a bit scrappy so later on I got my brush pen and paints out and tidied them up a bit using some very ropey photos I’d taken on my ipod for reference.

Some of the turkey photos were a lot better so I decided to draw from them. The shape looks a little off but I think that’s because of the angle at which I took the photo.

Turkey-Sketch-Front-View

The front view of a turkey.

Turkey-Sketch-Side-View

Side view of a turkey.

Turkeys are strange looking creatures, not what you would call conventionally beautiful, except maybe to each other. One of the turkeys gave me a very long hard stare and as he did his dangly bit (technical term hehehe) got shorter and shorter till he had pulled it right up over his beak! I didn’t even know they could do that.

Turkey-Watching-Us

This turkey was giving me a very long hard stare!

 

It was an interesting day out and since it wasn’t too expensive to enter we’ll probably go again, maybe draw some of the other animals.

Thanks for taking the time to stop by today. Till next time, have fun.

Fun At The Natural History Museum

Common Ostrich sketch

A Common Ostrich sketch, a bit ropy but it was the first sketch of the day

Hi there, how are you?

We’ve been away to London for a few days this week so we shopped, ate out and had a day out at Tate Modern as you do.

This time we saw Picasso (works from 1932) and Modigliani. I’m not a great lover of Picasso but it was interesting to see the art in person. I liked the Modigliani a little better. It’s nice to see these artworks in person, to see the brush strokes and colours used by the artist even if it doesn’t resonate with me; I always like to have an open mind until I’ve seen them properly.

For one of the days we didn’t really have anything planned so we went into the natural history museum to draw from some of the displays.

We started at the bird cases; they have loads of stuffed birds from all over the world, even a dodo! We weren’t able to get close to the dodo because there were so many people around it so settled for an ostrich, it was the first drawing of the day so it’s all over the place but it was fun to do.

Natural History Museum Red Jungle Fowl

Sketch of a Red Jungle Fowl from the Natural History Museum

Next was a rooster (red jungle fowl) it was drawn in pencil but decided to draw over it with a fountain pen and clean it up a bit. I’m quite happy with this one and since it’s drawn in waterproof ink I may even colour it in later.

Natural History Museum Shearwater

Sketches of Shearwater seabirds drawn at the Natural History Museum

Standing for a long time was making our feet ache so we went upstairs to see what else they had (plus there were some benches to sit on) we saw a case full of sea birds all in flight, I picked some little shearwater birds, it’s a view that’s very hard to get even with a camera because they’re so fast so this was ideal.

Natural History Museum Pheasant Family Silver Pheasant

Sketch of a Silver Pheasant from Natural History Museum

Moving along the room was a case containing pheasants. I wish they had done a better job of naming the breeds there were so many different types of pheasant (apparently chickens are also part of the pheasant family. Educational too eh), after a long look on the internet I have decided this pheasant is called a silver pheasant. I loved his little red mask; he looked like he was off to a masquerade party hehe.

We had a really fun day and ended up spending so long there we got kicked out!

London is so busy we don’t stop while were there, back home now with tired feet and needing another rest!

Thanks for stopping by today. Till next time, have fun x

Little Fluffy Chicks

little chick sketches 1

little chick sketches 1

Hi there, how are you?

I’ve been drawing fluffy little chicks; well that’s what I was aiming for any way. The colours didn’t transfer to the screen very well, the paler yellows are sort of over exposed.

little chick sketches 2

little chick sketches 2

 

My laptop went kapluee this week and I’m working on one kindly lent to me by my other half. He has hardly any programs! No scanner, no image programs it’s like a wasteland in here!

On the bright side it’s better than trying to do the whole thing on my ipod so “thanks dear”

Thanks for taking the time to stop by. Till next time, have fun x

Sketching Chickens In The Kitchen Garden

henrietta 1

A sketch of Henrietta chicken

Hi there, how are you?

Last week we visited the local botanical gardens. They have so many lovely walks there and even in the middle of winter we find things to look at.

This time we walked past the chicken run, its part of the gardens called a pottager garden (French term for an ornamental vegetable or kitchen garden.)

There are about a dozen chickens scratching around, we decided to sit and draw them (insert scrappy sketches).

rough chicken sketches

I had drawn the chickens with graphite which doesn’t show up on my scanner but I found a pink pen while tidying up and decided to pick out the chickens I liked best with it.

I have several pages just like this one; I think you get the general idea though. Not amazing art work I admit, it just gives me an idea of the shapes and poses.

I really wanted some photo’s but I only had my ipod with me so we waited till they came close to the edge of the enclosure and snapped a few photos. One of the chickens Henrietta (not her real name) came right up to us (she was ready for her close up). The pictures came out surprisingly well.

henrietta chicken photo

The beautiful Henrietta (please excuse the fence)

Later at home I drew some sketches of Henrietta in my sketchbook. I used Payne’s Grey for the feathers but thought they were a little too blue, so I painted another layer mixing a little black into the Payne’s Grey. I didn’t want to dull the colour, just darken it a bit.

henrietta2

A different view of Henrietta.

I’m not sure what it is about chickens, I love watching the scratch around and bustle about.

Thanks for stopping by today. Till next time, have fun x