Friday, February 13, 2015

Birds of a Feather, Painting Birds.

Birds of a feather stick together at my studio this week. Beautiful sitter Jennifer Fabos brought her pet parrot Rocky along to be painted from life and it was very cute to watch how much Rocky loved her mistress during the sitting, cooing at her loudly, preferring to sit cozily right by her neck.

I didn't know birds had such attachment to humans. On the breaks from being painted Rocky took her water and food causing a few not so happy accidents on the beautiful satin drape I had just spent a fortune on!

Yes, Rocky is a female parrot but this was not known until she started laying eggs, said Jen,  hence the male name. I have painted Jen before with a previous pet bird, Peep. She has a way with birds for sure.

Some say painting from life is for the birds and I must confess, Rocky was a bit fidgety during the painting session but I sure hope she visits again soon with Jen.

To find out more about Jennifer Fabos and her work with Gallery Girls go here:  

I post the stages of the sitting  here and am indebted once again to my hero master portraitist  Philip de Laszlo.

"Birds of a Feather"
By Johanna Spinks
Oil on Board


Rocky gets her close-up. I moved her position off the shoulder  to aid the composition. I kept her coloring the same as the dress for color harmony, repeating some of those colors in the background too 

The block-in. I liked the tilt.

The light side of the face is massed in quickly going for a clean statement mixing just two colors at one time.

After about two hours of painting, I start to think about Rocky going in to the frame and just how on earth am I going to do that!

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